In most seasons an off week is a welcome respite, a time for players and coaches to catch their collective breaths and give their minds and bodies a little rest. But in 1995, Virginia Tech did not have an off week. From September 16 to November 18, the Hokies played every Saturday. And in that magical season, it worked to their advantage. This was a team on a roll, and when things are going well, the last thing a football team wants is a momentum-killing break. And so the games kept coming, and Virginia Tech kept winning.
After beating Pittsburgh, the Hokies traveled to beautiful Annapolis, Maryland, to face Navy. After their Friday walk-through, the team was treated to a bus tour of the Naval Academy campus. As a tribute to those who served their country, the names of the great battles for which they had fought were listed along the twin facades of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. When Lou Holtz was coach at William and Mary and visited the stadium for the first time, he gazed at the façade. “Iwo Jima, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Normandy, Guadalcanal,” he said. “Boy, these guys play a tough schedule.”
The game against the Hokies was no war, but it might have felt like it. Midshipmen quarterback Chris McCoy was averaging 133.3 rushing yards per game, but the Hokies held him to one yard and sacked him eight times. Although defensive tackle J.C. Price hyper-extended his left elbow in practice and played the game with a heavy cast, it didn’t slow him down;...
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