With the ACC Coastal division and a spot in the conference championship game on the line, yesterday's Commonwealth Cup match was expected to be something that it hadn't been in awhile—competitive.
The Virginia Tech Hokies had come out on top in their last seven matches against the Virginia Cavaliers, winning six of them by 14 points or more. But second-year coach Mike London has brought new life into the Cavaliers. After last season's 4-8 finish, the 8-3 Wahoos have clinched a winning season and re-entered the AP Top 25 this week for the first time since 2007.
Upending the Hokies would not only send them to the ACC Championship game against Clemson, but also put an even larger dent in Tech's dwindling in-state recruiting edge.
Unfortunately for them, the Hokies had other plans.
Facing criticism for their soft non-conference schedule yet National Championship-contending No. 5 BCS ranking, Frank Beamer's squad gave UVA a 38-0 beating at home.
The last time the Cavaliers were shut out? Their Commonwealth Cup meeting in 2006.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas continued to play mistake-free football with three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and no turnovers. He has 11 total touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three games.
Running back David Wilson notched the tenth 100-yard rushing game onto his Heisman-like season, to go along with his two scores on the ground. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers rushed for only 30 yards and matched a season-high, committing four turnovers.
Virginia Tech will move on to face Clemson—the only team to beat them this season—in next week's ACC Championship game. The Cavaliers finish a respectable second place in the Coastal Division, and will likely play in the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29.
As far as the entire season is concerned, nothing should be taken away from London and his team. They've undergone a four-game improvement from last season, and could repeat this upward trend next season with a nationally-ranked recruiting class and returning skill position players.
But he still has the Virginia Tech hurdle to climb, having been outscored by them in their two meetings by a combined 75-7. And while UVA is nationally respectable again, make no mistake about it: the Hokies are still Virginia's best football program, until further notice.