After a disappointing loss to the Syracuse Orange, the Virginia Tech Hokies have a short week ahead of a critical Thursday night ACC Coastal showdown with the Miami Hurricanes. With both teams just outside the top 25, the winner of this game should jump back in next week while a Hokies’ win will keep Virginia Tech in control of their own destiny in the Coastal.
For the Hokies, having their biggest home game on a Thursday night only makes sense given the history of success Virginia Tech has along with being the program that helped make Thursday night college football something before the NFL decided to get in on Thursday night football as well.
However, the Hokies’ last home game on Thursday night didn’t go so well against these Miami Hurricanes two years ago when Miami beat the Hokies 30-6 with the only score coming in garbage time in the fourth quarter and most fans gone by that point. A few of the Hokies’ stars were on that team as well, and were asked about that game and how that is impacting their motivation for Thursday’s night showdown.
Ekanem on Miami after #Hokies' big loss in 2014: "I think we definitely do owe these guys…but it can't be any bigger than it actually is."
— Norm Wood (@normwood) October 17, 2016
Baron: Older guys remember loss 2 years ago but 2 different teams from then #Hokies
— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) October 17, 2016
What does seem clear is that loss is in the back of the heads of a lot of the Hokies’ players that were on that team two years ago but the Hokies definitely also seem more focused on the two teams facing off Thursday night.
However, there is no doubt that there is a little extra motivation for the older players on this Hokies’ team because of that blowout loss two years ago whether the players are willing to admit it or not. Ekanem’s comments show how the Hokies not only want to end the losing streak to the Hurricanes but also seem to suggest that there is a desire to get some payback for the 2014 30-6 Thursday night home loss.
Of course, this game is already somewhat of a rivalry that has its roots from when both teams were consistently battling at the top of the Big East with plenty of big games while this is also a critical and decisive ACC Coastal game that will almost certainly eliminate the loser from the hunt in the Coastal especially if that loser is Miami.
Justin Fuente will make sure that his players are focused on the game and is likely not worried about the team’s motivation for this game. However, those players that were here two years ago showed a long memory today and may have that little extra motivation to extract some revenge after the Hurricanes blew out the Hokies two years ago in Lane Stadium on a Thursday night.
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