A Look Back: The 2000 West Virginia Game

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From now until football practice begins, we’ll be taking a once-a-week look
back at some past big games in Tech football history. Hopefully we’ll be able to
help you rekindle some old memories, and also shed some new light on a few of
the Hokies’ most memorable games of the past. Today we’ll go back to Thursday,
October 12, 2000 when #2 Virginia Tech welcomed West Virginia to Blacksburg.

We’re going try to limit ourselves to the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Those are
the games where the details might be a bit hazy. Will has already written a TSL
Analysis or a Monday Thoughts on many or all of those games, but these days we
can add a little something to liven up the articles: video. Plus, it’s just a
fun summer activity I think.

If you’ve got any specific games that you’d like to see covered, let us know
by shooting us an email, or posting it on our Subscribers Board.

The Background

Virginia Tech came into this game with a perfect 5-0 record and ranked #2 in
the country, tied for the best ranking in school history. The Hokies were
coasting along behind a dominant offense, led by quarterback Michael Vick, an
outstanding backfield, one of the fastest wide receivers in college football and
four senior offensive linemen. Through the first five games, the Tech offense
had put up 52 points against Akron, 45 points against ECU (just 5 days after the
Akron game), 49 points against Rutgers, 48 points against Boston College and 35
points against Temple. That was an average of 45.8 points per game.

The defense was young, replacing eight starters from the 1999 defense. Two of
the three returning starters, Nick Sorensen and Ben Taylor, had changed
positions in the offseason. Sorensen moved from free safety to whip, while
Taylor moved from whip to backer. This was a very young defense that was still
finding itself, and to top it off, they had lost starting cornerback Larry
Austin to a torn ACL against Boston College, and true freshman Eric Green was in
the starting lineup.

West Virginia entered the game with a 4-1 record, and they were confident
after nearly spoiling Virginia Tech’s unbeaten season the year before in
Morgantown. This was a huge game. If Tech didn’t impress,