The Cavalier Daily
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Our favorite moments from the Virginia vs. Virginia Tech rivalry

With a new installment on the horizon, the Cavalier Daily and Collegiate Times remember the greatest moments from the Commonwealth Clash in the 21st century

<p>The Cavaliers will look to reverse a trend of heartbreaking losses next Saturday at Scott Stadium.</p>

The Cavaliers will look to reverse a trend of heartbreaking losses next Saturday at Scott Stadium.

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Hokies win first game after April 16 shooting (Nov. 24, 2007)

By Thomas Bray, Collegiate Times

The Commonwealth Clash doesn’t get much bigger than the game played in 2007. Both teams were ranked nationally and were contending for an ACC championship berth. But it was more than just the conference or bowl implications that added gravity to this contest. The memory of the tragic Virginia Tech shooting earlier in the year still hung heavy in the air. 

The Hokies secured the 33–21 victory, marking an emotional triumph for the Virginia Tech community and a significant chapter in the Commonwealth Clash rivalry that showcased the power of sports to bring people together, uplift communities and provide a platform for healing and pride.

Cavaliers fumble to lose 15th straight (Nov. 23, 2018)

By Thomas Bray, Collegiate Times

Virginia Tech entered the day with an impressive 14-game winning streak against Virginia, but they were struggling this season. The Hokies had a 4–6 record entering this game and had suffered four consecutive losses.

Bryce Perkins, through his running and passing, put Virginia in a strong position to win. With just under seven minutes left, Perkins connected with Hasise Dubois over the middle, giving the Cavaliers the lead. It seemed like Bryce Perkins and the Cavaliers were finally going to end Virginia Tech's streak. However, Virginia Tech's Ryan Willis found Dalton Keene on a remarkable play, putting the Hokies in scoring position. Later in the drive, Steven Peoples fumbled in the end zone, but the Hokies managed to recover, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, Brian Johnson made the game-winning field goal for the Hokies. Unfortunately for Perkins, he encountered issues with a handoff on the first play of his drive, resulting in a fumble that the Hokies recovered, extending their winning streak to 15 games.

Virginia snaps losing streak (Nov. 29, 2019)

By Sam Mostow, Collegiate Times

Virginia’s 39–30 victory snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Hokies in the matchup, still their only win in the series since 2004. Although Tech led, 27–20, entering the fourth quarter, UVA scored 19 points in the period, including two Brian Delaney field goals to tie and take the lead with 1:23 remaining. The Cavaliers, who clinched the ACC Coastal Division with their victory, went on to play No. 2 Clemson in the ACC championship game and No. 6 Florida in the Orange Bowl.

The Cavaliers secure the win with a fake field goal (Nov. 29, 2003) 

By Max Jensen, The Cavalier Daily 

The 2003 Virginia season was a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Starting the year with an impressive No. 18 ranking, the team thrived early, securing wins in four out of their first five matchups, notably shutting out Duke 27-0 in the season opener. 

However, this quickly faded away with a series of four losses in the next five games. As the Cavaliers entered their final regular season game, they were hoping to get their first win against the Hokies in five years. 

Loaded with talent, Virginia boasted first-round picks in the form of offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and tight end Heath Miller, alongside third-round standouts quarterback Matt Schaub and linebacker Darryl Blackstock. Despite the stellar lineup, the Cavaliers were only able to muster one touchdown in the first half against Virginia Tech. 

The second half was an entirely different story, however, as Virginia came out firing with three consecutive unanswered touchdowns, propelling it to a 28-14 lead as the fourth quarter began. This was largely due to the offensive showcase by running back Wali Lundy. The future Houston Texan rushed for three touchdowns during the game, while also securing a receiving touchdown.

However, the one play all fans remember from the game was the fake field goal that sealed the game for the Cavaliers. After the Hokies had cut the lead to a touchdown, Virginia needed a spark to gain back the momentum in the match. Coach Al Groh found the dagger by calling a fake, and Miller caught the pass for the first down, allowing Virginia to score one more touchdown and win the game 35-21. Without the play call, there is no telling how the game would have ended, but Groh took matters into his own hands by letting the team win the game rather than play defensively to try and close it out.

Virginia Tech beats Virginia by 30 to win their 10th straight game (Nov. 27, 2010) 

By Max Jensen, The Cavalier Daily 

The year could not have started any worse for the Hokies. Following a narrow loss to No. 3 Boise State in their season opener, No. 13 Virginia Tech was upset at home by James Madison, who was then competing in the FCS. This was just the second time ever that a team ranked in the AP poll lost to an FCS opponent. Coming into the season with high expectations, and looking up at their 0-2 record, the Hokies knew they had to turn it around quick. 

And that is exactly what they did. Led by future NFL quarterback Tyrod Taylor, the Hokies rattled off nine straight victories including wins against No. 23 NC State and No. 24 Miami. The only thing standing in their way from the first undefeated ACC season since 2000 was Virginia. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, Coach Mike London’s first season was not going as planned, with only one ACC victory to their name. 

The game was a lopsided affair, with Virginia Tech showcasing dominance and executing some remarkable plays. In the second quarter, defensive back Eddie Whitley’s interception of quarterback Marc Verica set the stage for the game’s first touchdown. Attempting to shift the momentum, the Cavaliers opted for another trick play, this time in the form of a fake punt, which failed miserably as the Hokies were able to stifle the trick play. 

Taylor threw for 176 yards to become the career yardage leader for Virginia Tech, and the Hokies rushing attack accounted for four touchdowns. Overall, it was an impressive showing for Virginia Tech, who used this as momentum to beat No. 20 Florida State the next week to win their fourth ACC Championship Game. 

Virginia Tech narrowly beats Virginia 29-24 in the most recent contest (Nov. 27, 2021) 

By Max Jensen, The Cavalier Daily 

Both the Cavaliers and the Hokies were in similar spots entering the 2021 Commonwealth Cup with Virginia boasting a 6-5 record, and the Hokies sitting at 5-6, one win away from a bowl game. 

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong had been huge for the Cavaliers in 2021, as he shattered Bryce Perkins’ record for single-season passing yards with 4,449, while also accumulating 31 touchdowns. For the Hokies, quarterback Braxton Burmeister had done well in his second season with the team, throwing just four interceptions to his 14 touchdowns. Both quarterbacks looked to lead their teams to victories ahead of this crucial game. 

Virginia started the game strong when Armstrong connected with future Indianapolis Colt Jelani Woods for the opening score. But, Burmeister and the Hokies responded immediately with a huge gain to wide receiver Tayvion Robinson for the touchdown. For a while, it was a back and forth affair, which included Armstrong absorbing massive hits from three defenders while rushing for the touchdown. Also, the Hokies successfully executed the “Philly Special” to give Burmeister a receiving touchdown of his own. 

The play of the game, however, came with three minutes remaining and Armstrong attempting to lead his team down for a game-winning drive. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, Armstrong was hit hard and lost control of the football, which bounced into the Virginia endzone. The Hokies dove on it to secure the safety and the victory. 

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