Friday, October 7, 2011
When Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech meet up for the 29th time on Saturday, they will uphold a rivalry that dates back to 1950. Only this time it will be slightly different, with both teams still in search of their first conference win of the season.
This game is an important one for both sides, and while it may be premature to call this an elimination game for these Coastal Division foes, neither team wants to suffer their second conference loss only six weeks into the season.
It will all go down at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA, where the football is as big as the stadium that hosts the event. As the Virginia Tech football team prepares to run out of the tunnel before each game, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blasts over the speakers as all 66,000 fans feverishly begin to jump up and down.
When the Hokies score, there is always a string of traditions that follow. First, the skipper of the Corps of Cadets sets off the cannon. Then Hokie fans throughout the stands are lifted above the fans around them, one rep for each point the Hokies have scored. Lastly, between the third and fourth quarter of every game, the Hokie cheerleaders and High-Techs lead the stadium in the dance, "The Hokie-Pokey.”
Virginia Tech also exhibits its character and pride every day via its buildings, most of which are made of Hokie Stone. Known as the “trademark” of the university’s architectural beauty, Hokie Stone is a native limestone common to Southwest Virginia and parts of Tennessee and Alabama. No two stones are the same color, varying from grays, browns, and blacks to pinks, oranges, and maroons. Since the mid-1950s, Virginia Tech has operated its own quarry, and the popular limestone can be found on many of the university’s buildings.
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is another tradition that distinguishes the university, which required corps participation for every able-bodied male for four years until 1923 and two years until 1964, when it became voluntary. Virginia Tech remains one of only three public universities in the country with both an active corps of cadets as well as “civilian” lifestyle on campus.
With the ACC race still very much in limbo, tensions are sure to be running high when these two teams take the field. Be sure to catch all the action from Lane Stadium at 3:30 PM EST on Saturday!