What is your favorite game from the VT-Miami rivalry, and why?
Tafkam Hokie: It seems like most of my favorite memories of games against Miami are a bit bittersweet in one way or another.
When we broke up the pass to win the 1995 game, I was so busy looking for the pass interference flag that never came, I kinda missed the pure joy of the moment. When we blocked the punt in 2001, Lane Stadium became the loudest place I think I’ve ever been. Unfortunately, we ended up losing the game. For the 2004 defensive stand that won our first ACC title, I was watching the game by myself at home, which isn’t the most memorable game atmosphere. I even remember watching Logan’s Run in the 2011 game and immediately thinking that I wish he had slid at the 2 yard line so we could have punched it in 2 plays later. The way that game was going, it really looked to me like the last team with the ball would win, and we had just left Miami way too much time to be able to drive the length of the field.
So I think I’ll pick the most bittersweet of them all and say my favorite memory of the VT-Miami rivalry is all the pageantry and attention we got for the two days leading up to the 2005 game. We didn’t just get Gameday in town…we’d had that before. We also got the Cold Pizza show broadcasting from Blacksburg, and Colin Cowherd broadcasting from Blacksburg, and periodic check-ins from Blacksburg on every SportsCenter broadcast for two days. ESPN had turned the VT hype machine up to 11 and shined the brightest possible spotlight on everything that was Virginia Tech.
The whole town was abuzz at a level that might have even rivaled the run up to the national championship game. The air was absolutely electric and the closer you walked to the stadium, the more your hair started to stand on end. In the moments leading up to kickoff, that crowd was so jacked up it was almost hard to breathe.
In those two days, the whole college football world was fixated on Virginia Tech. Yes, Virginia Tech. The same Virginia Tech that my father attended as a small, all-male military school. The same Virginia Tech that was on probation and winning 2 or 3 games a year when I was an undergraduate. We were getting all the hype that was normally reserved for Notre Dame and Michigan and Texas and USC. We weren’t just the 1999 one-year-wonders anymore. We were one of the big-boys getting ready...
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