It's a rivalry that has become a fixture of life itself in the Commonwealth of Virginia. At greasy spoons and cocktail parties around this part of the country, the debate between the state's two most recognizable universities seems to most prominently carry itself over a 364-day buildup toward autumn every year.
It's a rivalry that has also largely been recognized, for over a decade, by a categorical dominance by Virginia Tech over Virginia on the gridiron - dominance that continued today in emphatic fashion.
The Commonwealth Cup will remain in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech won the 13th straight game in the series, 52-10, this afternoon at Lane Stadium.
The two teams exchanged scoreless possessions to start the game, with a few long runs ultimately proving fruitless for the first 10-plus minutes of the opening quarter. Chris Peace and Landon Word each forced a critical third-down sack for the Cavaliers in the first quarter to halt the Hokies’ modest early progress.
Virginia Tech took advantage of good field position on their drive that started with five or so minutes to go in the first, quickly advancing into field goal range after the Hoos punted from inside their own five. Isaiah Ford’s catch at the eight gave the Hokies a first-and-goal, and Sam Rogers took it to paydirt on the next play to give VT a 7-0 lead with 2:54 to go in the first.
In the midst of a perplexing quarterback rotation between Kurt Benkert and Matt Johns, UVa (2-10, 1-7 ACC) got a big break on Tech’s first offensive drive after their touchdown. Quin Blanding recovered a Travon McMillian fumble with 21 seconds left in the quarter at the Tech 38. The Cavaliers would go three-and-out and punt, before a running-into-the-kicker call gave Tech a first down on their own one-yard line.
With 10:40 left in the second, VT (9-3, 6-2 ACC) completed their 10-play, 99-yard scoring drive with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jerod Evans to Cam Phillips.
Rogers picked up his second touchdown later in the second quarter to make it 21-0, and after UVa’s fifth consecutive three-and-out the Hokies added another touchdown to make it 28-0, the score remained that way going into the half.
After Virginia Tech made it 35-0 early in the half, a completion from Benkert immediately preceded a Johns interception, and the Hokies capitalized to make it 38-0 with 11:27 left in the third.
Sam Hayward made a 29-yard field goal around the midway point of the quarter to put to rest thoughts of a shutout.
A Connor Brewer fumble later in the quarter was returned 70 yards for another Virginia Tech touchdown to make it 45-3.
After the Hokies added another touchdown, Olamide Zaccheaus put one on the board to make it 52-10, and that was the final margin.
The Hoos, after starting the season with a respectable 2-3 mark and opening conference play with a win, closed the campaign on a seven-game losing streak. That’s longer than any in recent UVa history, except the nine-game skid to end the 2013 season.
A tenth straight Virginia senior class has finished their college careers without beating their archrivals to the southwest.
Thank you to Zach Bradshaw, Connor Brewer, Nicholas Conte, Mark Hall, Tim Harris, Matt Johns, Keeon Johnson, Sean Karl, Jackson Matteo, Andre Miles-Redmond, Smoke Mizzell, Michael Mooney, Kelvin Rainey, Albert Reid, Ryan Santoro, Dylan Sims, Eric Smith, Wilfred Wahee, Donte Wilkins, Connor Wingo-Reeves, and everyone else who has played their final game in a Cavalier uniform. You've represented the University well.