Great Moments In Virginia Tech History: 1999 West Virginia, Part 1

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Virginia Tech
The Hokies put their unbeaten record on the line at West Virginia in 1999. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

The Beamer era was jam-packed with moments of great Virginia Tech football, and the 1999 comeback against WVU was perhaps the best. Michael Vick proved himself under pressure, and Shayne Graham came through with a pivotal Beamerball moment in the only close game of the regular season. If the Hokies had lost, Nebraska might’ve taken their place in the national title game.

Looking at the records, 7-0 Tech versus a 3-5 WVU squad that had lost seven players to the NFL in the twilight of the Don Nehlan years didn’t seem like a recipe for a great game. But the Mountaineers had been snake-bit by injuries and close losses. Coming into the game, they were playing their best stretch of football of the year. A roster with talent at several key positions was coming together. And at a quiet pregame breakfast, Nehlan told his team that a win over the Hokies would make their season.

The Hokies, on the other hand, were 7-0 for the first time since LBJ was president. They had swamped their opponents up to that point, with their closest game being a 30-17 win over Pitt the prior week. VT was third in the official BCS rankings, behind Penn State, but the Nittany Lions had lost in an upset to Minnesota not long before kickoff in Morgantown. If the Hokies