A Look Back: The 1998 Miami Game

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The 1998 meeting with Miami isn’t a game to remember because it was a big one
on the national stage; it wasn’t. It is memorable because of how the Hokies won it, the
gutsy effort their injured quarterback showed, and the fact that it was the
fourth time in a row Tech had beaten the mighty Canes. Back then, that was a
huge deal.

We were supposed to take a look at the 1995 Sugar Bowl this week, but we
realized a few days ago that the Sugar Bowl is not a part of our DVD collection.
If anyone wants to make us a copy (paging Walter S), shoot me an email. I’d love
to do that game next week, or the week after.

The 1998 Miami game was not relevant on a national scale. The Canes had gone
5-6 in the previous season, while the Hokies limped to a 7-5 finish and a 42-3
Gator Bowl loss, so neither team received any national attention in early 1998.
Both teams were 2-0, and the Hokies were ranked #21, with Miami unranked. Still,
it’s one of those games that you won’t forget, if you are an old-school Tech
fan.

The Hokies had defeated Miami three years in row: 13-7 in 1995, 21-7 in 1996
and 27-25 in 1997. All three were nip and tuck games that could have gone either
way, and for Tech to have the opportunity to defeat the Canes for the fourth
consecutive year was an idea you would have completely dismissed just a few
years earlier. It was the beginning of a new rivalry, and the Hokies were
starting to take control.

Pre-Game Notes

  • Charley Steiner: “It looks like Miami football is on the way
    back.” I guess technically he was right, but still …
  • Hokies were confident, coming off a 37-0 win at Clemson.
  • Since 1995, Miami had blocked 28 kicks. VT had blocked 22.

Game Recap

Miami physically won this game for the most part, with their defensive front
giving the Tech offensive line fits. They outgained Tech 108-25 in the first
quarter, and the Hokies had less than 100 yards of total offense at halftime.
However, in the end Tech was able to pull out a 27-20 overtime win.

The first quarter was all Miami, with the Tech offense getting dominated at
the line of scrimmage. Miami led 7-0 after a 47 yard touchdown pass from Scott
Covington to Santana Moss, and they also missed a field goal that would have
made the score

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