Virginia Tech-North Carolina State: Monday Thoughts

Justin CatesCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Jarrett Boykin #81 of the Virginia Tech Hokies against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Finally, there’s a blowout in this series.

NC State was the only team to defeat the Hokies in ACC play in 2004, winning 17-16 in Blacksburg.

In 2005, Tech opened the season in Raleigh with a 20-14 victory over the Wolfpack.

Overall, Tech and State have played 47 times in a series that dates back to 1900.  Of those meetings, 37 have been decided by 14 points or less, and 29 times the margin has been less than seven points. 

The Hokies' convincing 38-10 win over a struggling Wolfpack team was their second straight drubbing of an ACC opponent.

Virginia Tech (8-3, 5-2 ACC) has found offensive success as of late, even finding a legitimate big-play threat in Jarrett Boykin.

Boykin followed up his 118-yard performance against Maryland with a six catch, 164-yard showing against NC State. Among the impressive catches was a 38-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor had what has become a typical day for him, completing nine of 17 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown.

Boykin now has 36 catches for 715 yards and five touchdowns on the season. He leads the Hokies in all three categories and appears to have become Taylor’s favorite target.

Ryan Williams did his normal number as well, rushing 32 times for 120 yards and a career-high four rushing touchdowns.

NC State (4-7, 1-6 ACC) just didn’t have an answer for Williams, who finished with his eighth 100-yard game of the season and broke the Tech freshman rushing record set by Darren Evans last season.

Williams also had his signature play of the season on a 19-yard touchdown run in which he dragged defender Earl Wolff from the Wolfpack 12-yard line into the end zone.

"I was getting mad that he was on my jersey," Williams said. "The whole time, I was trying to get to the end zone. I didn’t know how far I had dragged him. But he was making me mad."

Next up for the Hokies is a post-Thanksgiving battle with archrival Virginia up in Charlottesville.

It will be a meeting between two polar opposite teams, and a bittersweet game for some.

It will likely mark the final game of the Al Groh era in Charlottesville.

While Tech comes in feeling pretty good at 8-3 overall, Virginia is just 3-8 this season, including a season-opening loss to William & Mary.

In his nine seasons at the helm of his alma mater, Groh has guided his team to an overall record of 59-52, including a 3-2 mark in bowl games.

Many Hokies consider Groh one of the best things to ever happen to Virginia Tech football. His arrogant demeanor turned off many high school coaches in the Commonwealth, opening the door for the Hokies to consistently sign the top talent in-state for almost 10 years now.

Groh has always won just enough to hang around, but patience has finally worn thin for Cavaliers fans.

Groh only has one victory of the Hokies in his career, and he would love nothing more than to nip Tech one more time.

Last season, the Wahoos came into Blacksburg and nearly snuck up on the Hokies. Thanks to a terrific performance by surprise starter at quarterback Vic Hall, Tech won just 17-14.

The battle for the Commonwealth Cup is still an exciting rivalry, even if both teams aren’t where they’d like to be.

This game brings out the best in everybody, and this Saturday will be no different.