Any time the Hokies take on the Hoos, everyone's interest is drawn regardless of each team's record. It pretty much has to be this way because Virginia has been down the last few years.
In fact, Virginia has beaten Virginia Tech only once since 1999. Matt Schaub and company defeated the Hokies in Charlottesville during the 2003 season, and the play that put the Hokies under was the fake field goal (remember, Schaub used to be the holder) bootleg pass to current Pittsburgh Steeler Heath Miller.
The Hoos went on to win 35-21 but have not seen the win column since.
Virginia has had some decent teams since 2003, and back in 2007 the game actually decided who would represent the Coastal Division in the ACC. Tech prevailed and went on to defeat Boston College in the ACC Championship.
However, the last two years the Cavaliers have been playing for pride instead of championships.
Virginia had a chance to make a bowl last season if they beat the Hokies, and they came pretty close. The Hoos completely changed their offense, and Vic Hall, who was an all-state quarterback in high school, was running a spread-option, wildcat-like offense. This caught the Hokies off guard, and Virginia almost came out with a victory.
I doubt we'll see Virginia completely change their offense for this year's game, but it's probably Al Groh's last game, and he's 1-7 all-time against Virginia Tech.
Although Hokie fans fully expect to win this game, many seem to be jaded. The offense has been rolling the last couple of weeks, and the Hokies have given up only one offensive touchdown in their last three games.
However, fans of Virginia Tech often prepare themselves for the worst possible scenario. The thought of losing to Virginia has entered everyone's mind, and it's mainly because of last year's game.
People were shocked when Hall took the majority of the snaps, and shocked that the game was won by only three points. A close call, but the Hokies won.
Last year's game leaves many fans wondering what Virginia could throw at the Hokies in this year's game. Even if Virginia runs the same offense they've been running all season, they've done a good job of putting doubt in Virginia Tech's mind.
Whether the coaches admit to it or not, I don't know, but you would have to think last year's game has put a little bit of doubt in their minds.
It's normal to get a little anxious for a game against your biggest rival because no matter how bad they are, you know they're going to give you their best shot.
This rivalry is still very big around campus, but the football part of it has fallen a bit, mainly because Virginia has been so bad for so many years. I honestly think that's why the two schools decided to make a "Commonwealth Cup Challenge" instead of giving the "Commonwealth Cup" to the winner of the football game.
The two schools are pretty competitive with each other in all of the other sports, such as basketball, soccer, and baseball, but football is the polar opposite.
It's senior day for Virginia, but it's also the last time Virginia Tech seniors will be playing against their biggest rival. This game could be good, or it could be a blowout. Either way, Virginia Tech is the better team, and they should be able to control the pace of the game.