The final game of the 2018 football regular season is upon us. That also means it’s Virginia Tech week. That is means its #HATEWEEK. Virginia Tech has won a few in a row. We asked the STL staff how they felt.
Plain and Simple: Is it going to happen? Why?
Pierce Hawthorne: I cannot go on record with what I really think is going to happen.
Paul Wiley: (throw up emoji)
Brian Schwartz: I have never seen it happen before so, while it is more likely than not that it does...it still seems basically impossible to me.
Editor’s note: I told them I liked how this was going and told them these answers were going to be used. They were ok with it.
Ryan Reese: As much as I want to say this is the year, I’m going to echo Schwartz here. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve always gotten the feeling that this rivalry doesn’t mirror what we see in most rivalries, that you can throw out the records. I feel it means more to them. It means more to their fans, it means for to their team. And until Virginia can come close to matching that passion, they’re only going to win with a significant talent advantage. And while the talent level is close, I don’t think we’re there yet. The “Beat Tech” mantra is a positive sign, but I just can’t bring myself to make the pick. Va Tech in a close one.
Schwartz: To clarify - that is not my pick. It seems surreal that UVA would win, but there have been multiple close calls . Two seasons ago, UVA was blown out 52-10 in Blacksburg, but the other losses in the past 6 years were by 3 (FG by VT as time expired), 10, 4 (TD by VT with under 2 minutes), 3 (FG by VT with under 2 minutes), and 10. Besides thinking “They are definitely due,” the on-the-field experience this year speaks for itself. The Hokies’ only win since September required a miracle comeback at UNC, while the Hoos are playing some good football. Despite their injuries on defense, the unit was sturdy against a tough GT team that scored 49 against the Hokies. Georgia Tech’s success bodes well for Bryce Perkins’ ability to run the football. (And the forecast looks good; 2 of UVA’s 3 losses this year have come in driving rain storms, which was also the case during last season’s shutout loss.)
UVA 27, VT 23
Paul Guttman: I have seen it, more than once. I’ve even seen it in person. Yeah, yeah, I’m old. If this year were in Charlottesville, I think Virginia comes out on top. But Lane is a tough place to play. And echoing Ryan’s response, this game still seems to mean more to the Hokies than to the Cavaliers. VT in a close one and I hope I’m wrong.
Sayer Paige: While Virginia has a lot to play for in this game, Virginia Tech has absolutely everything to lose. Not only is the winning streak over UVA on the line - 14 games - their bowl run - 25 years in a row - also runs on fumes, as they sit at 4-6 (did you hear they’re paying Marshall a hefty sum just in hopes to keep the streak alive?). I think that desperation, in addition to having home field, puts the Hokies over the top again.
Schwartz: The thing that puts them over the top is the fact that they suck so much they may not make a bowl?!
Sayer: Haha, I guess that does sound kind of backwards. I just think they’ll play inspired ball because of how much is at stake.
Basically, I’m a pessimist
Pierce: one of us...one of us...
Eric Hobeck: UVa 28 - VT 21
Caroline Darney: I don’t want to answer this you can’t make me.
Alex Cheung: All good things have to come to an end. Maybe it’s my naivety, but the signs point to this being this year for UVA. Both Bronco Mendenhall and Justin Fuente inherited their respective programs in 2016. Since then, UVA has posted a better record every year...while Tech has posted a worse record every year. This year, it’s Tech that is trying to become bowl-eligible. Sure, VT might still have high-talent and passionate fanbase, but, that doesn’t mask the fact that they have lost four straight games by decent margins. Virginia is playing good football and one can’t help but feel that the program is shifting personas, in a good way. Just because Virginia fans might be conditioned to expect the worse, doesn’t mean that the players reflect that. Will this game be an indicator of future program success? Only time will tell, but the optimist in me says that the trends will at least align this year. UVA 35-24 VT
Wiley: TIL Alex thinks a 14-year losing streak to VPISU is a “good thing.”
Alex: From the perspective of Tech fans, let it be known.
Matt Ellis: This VT football team is a dumpster fire. They lost their starting QB for the year to injury. They’ve had to dismiss 2 defensive starters from the team since July. They’ve had 2 more players announce that they’re transferring within the past 24 hours. They had to fire their Co-Defensive Coordinator last April after his affair went public on twitter. They lost to ODU who is 4-7 and lost to Liberty by 42. They’ve lost 4 straight, allowed 30+ points in 5 of their last 6 games, and just got housed by a Miami team in a battle of “which program is burning faster?” There are zero excuses for losing this year.
Will Campbell: So Matt, VT is going to win by 10?
Matt: If UVa doesn’t win this game it’s a straight choke. I find it hard to type the words “we’re going to win” just because of how the last 14 years have gone but I think for probably the first time in the last decade we’re actually the better team.
Will: There is a saying that Matt Norlander or Gary Parrish, CBS college basketball analysts, have on their podcast that “until Kansas doesn’t win the Big XII regular season title, I can’t pick anyone else.” That rings true to me. I became a UVa fan in 2004 as a junior in high school. I have no idea what a UVa win over Virginia Tech looks or feels like. I’ve been pumped for the game before, like I was in 2007 or 2011 when trips to the ACC Championship were on the line and the game was in Charlottesville. Hell, I was in France in September when I ran into some VT fans who told me “this is the year we lose to ya’ll.” Everything on paper says UVa wins. Vegas is saying UVa wins. The S&P+ system says UVa wins. Until UVa beats Virginia Tech, and I see it with my own eyes, I can’t pick anyone else.
Caroline: I picked Virginia to win in the preseason podcast, and I’m sticking with it here. As others have said, the metrics all line up for the Hoos, but this year just feels different. Maybe it’s the fact that the team has been treating this like a bigger deal, maybe it’s having a squad that is the most talented and dynamic as Virginia’s had in awhile. Maybe I’m just crazy. Regardless, Hoos are taking it. LET’S GO.
Brian Leung: (shush emoji)(monkey no talk emoji)
So, as you can tell, we are not a jaded or terrified or pessimistic bunch. How are you feeling heading into Friday?