It has been ten years since ESPN’s College GameDay has been to Blacksburg, Virginia. The popular pregame show has set up shop on Virginia Tech’s campus five times prior; the first coming in 1999 and the most previous one coming in 2007.
While this edition of the show may be here more for #2 Clemson than it is for #12 Virginia Tech, it is still sure to be one of the more attractive matchups of the early season and one of the bigger football games in some time at Lane Stadium. Clemson will look to maintain its perfect record and stay on track for a repeat as national champions, while Virginia Tech hopes to provide second-year head coach Justin Fuente a signature win at the helm of the Hokies.
Let’s look back at the past five times GameDay was in Blacksburg:
October 16, 1999
Virginia Tech, #4 at the time, was welcoming in a 16th-ranked Syracuse squad coming off a 24-17 win at Pitt the week prior. This wasn’t even a ballgame as Michael Vick (8-16, 135 yards) and the Hokies flexed their muscle and soared to a 62-0 laugher behind five takeaways by the Virginia Tech defense.
November 13, 1999
GameDay was back in town just under a month later as #19 Miami (Fla.) prepared to face a now-#2 Hokies team that had developed into a serious title contender. The Hurricanes did hold a 10-7 lead after the first quarter, but the Hokies turned on the jets and raced to a 43-10 win. Bud Foster’s opportunistic defense was at it again, forcing three fumbles and coming up with three interceptions. It was another forward step for the Hokies as they would go all the way to the BCS National Championship Game, only to lose to #1 Florida State.
September 24, 2005
Virginia Tech would have to wait just under six years later to welcome the GameDay crew back to Blacksburg. This time, it was before #16 Georgia Tech was to take on the #4 Hokies at Lane Stadium. Another Vick – Marcus – featured in this one as he went 13-18 for 223 yards and a touchdown as the Hokies blew out the Yellow Jackets 51-7. It erased a great performance by Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson, who made five catches for 123 yards and a score.
November 5, 2005
Just like 1999, GameDay was on the Virginia Tech campus for the second time in a season. And just like 1999, it was Miami who would serve as an opponent for a Virginia Tech team that appeared destined for a second BCS National Championship Game appearance in seven seasons. This game had a different turnout: the #5 Hurricanes dropped the Hokies 27-7 to give their own title hopes a boost. Marcus Vick was a basket case in this one as he threw two interceptions and lost the ball four times.
September 1, 2007
On a campus still shaken by a horrific mass shooting almost five months prior, there was plenty of emotion to be felt as the Hokies hosted East Carolina in its season opener. The result was a 17-7 victory for Virginia Tech, but for a community ravaged by a senseless act of violence, it was a time to come together and continue to restore a sense of normalcy to their everyday lives.
Virginia Tech tickets 2017: Buy tickets for Hokies games (Sept. 29, 2017)