Miami hasn't forgotten what happened the last time it played Virginia Tech. "That's definitely something that's in the back of our minds"...
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Miami hasn’t forgotten what happened the last time it played Virginia Tech.
“That’s definitely something that’s in the back of our minds,” quarterback Kyle Wright said.
Virginia Tech won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship a year ago, clinching the title with a regular-season-ending 16-10 victory at Miami.
It was perhaps the biggest victory in Hokies history. This time, the fifth-ranked Hurricanes will try to spoil things for No. 3 Virginia Tech tonight at Lane Stadium.
“This year’s a new year, and we want to go celebrate on their field,” Wright said.
The Hokies were ranked No. 10 last year, one spot behind Miami. This season, the stakes are higher with the Hokies (8-0 overall, 5-0 ACC) needing to make their case with voters for a place in the Bowl Championship Series’ national-title game.
USC and Texas seemingly have a solid hold on the top two positions in the BCS standings.
History seems to favor the Frank Beamer-coached Hokies, who have won seven of the last 10 in the series with the Hurricanes (6-1, 3-1).
“You can look at the history and there have been some great games, some great players, but I don’t think that has anything to do with what happens Saturday night,” Beamer said.
“It’s just get your helmet on tight, and let’s go.”
Miami coach Larry Coker sees it the same way.
“It’s all going to boil down to who plays the best Saturday night,” he said. “Do we turn the ball over? Do they turn it over? Do we allow big plays? Do we get big plays?”
Respect runs rampant among these programs.
Hokies defensive end Darryl Tapp, speaking of the Hurricanes, said, “They serve as a measuring stick for where we’re trying to get.”
Virginia Tech has the nation’s stingiest scoring defense, allowing 9.1 points per game; Miami is third, allowing 10.9. The Hurricanes have the top passing defense (121.3 yards per game) and top total defense (221.6), and Virginia Tech is close behind in both categories.
• Top-ranked USC and superstar Reggie Bush host the Stanford Cardinal today. But in 2001 and part of 2002, it looked as if then-high-schooler Bush was headed to Stanford. He wanted to play for coach Tyrone Willingham, but Willingham left Stanford and coached Notre Dame for three seasons beginning in 2002. Willingham is in his first season as Washington’s coach.
“I was interested in Stanford because of coach Willingham and where he had taken the program. I wanted the chance to play for a black coach,” said Bush, who is black. “He was great. When he left, I started to lose interest.”
Bush reportedly was leaning toward Notre Dame until he attended USC’s 44-13 win over the Fighting Irish in 2002 in Los Angeles.
• Three Maryland players were suspended one game by the school for their involvement in a fight at an off-campus bar this week. A fourth player will be suspended at least one game for underage drinking at another off-campus bar. The suspended players were not identified.
• Toledo beat host Ohio 30-21 in a Mid-American Conference game Friday night.