Great Moments In Virginia Tech History: 1999 West Virginia, Part 2

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Michael Vick prepares to turn on the jets against West Virginia. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Reread Part 1 here

The Hokies are down 20-19. The WVU fans who didn’t leave are riotous, while the ones who did are trying to look in from outside the stadium.

It’s the first time the Hokies have trailed in a game all season. Earlier worries about what would happen if FSU, Penn State, and VT all end up undefeated seem like hubris.

There’s 1:15 left on the clock.

The Mountaineers kick, and Shyrone Stith fields the ball just outside of the goal line and takes it up the left sideline for a short return to the 15-yard line.

Barring a collapse by the WVU defense, VT can win the game by getting Shayne Graham (#17) close enough to make a winning field goal. Graham is great. He is already Tech’s all-time leading scorer, has been named All-Big East the prior three seasons (and would net a fourth along with Big East Special Teams Player of the Year), has a game-long kick of 53 yards, and was hitting them from closer to 60 yards in warm-ups before the game. But he’s not infallible. He’s never made a game-winning kick in college, and his last try at one—a 35-yarder against Miami in 1998—missed.

Beamer knows Graham’s kicking as well as anyone. Even with a talent like Graham, making a 60-yard game-winner