Virginia–Virginia Tech football rivalry
|First meeting||October 5, 1895|
|Latest meeting||November 28, 2015|
|Next meeting||TBA, 2016|
|All-time series||Virginia Tech leads, 55–37–5|
The Virginia–Virginia Tech football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Virginia Cavaliers football team of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech Hokies football team of Virginia Tech. The two schools first met in 1895 and have played annually since 1970. Since 1964, the game has always been played at either Lane Stadium or Scott Stadium on the campuses of the two universities. But the series has at times been played in Richmond (1903, 1904, and 1957); Norfolk (1940, 1941, and 1942); and Roanoke (in 17 of the 19 years between 1945 and 1963).
Virginia Tech leads the series 55–37–5, and the Cup series 17–3. At 97 games, it is the longest series for the Hokies and second-longest for the Cavaliers, after the 118 game series between Virginia and North Carolina known as the South's Oldest Rivalry.
The trophy awarded to the winner of the game is the Commonwealth Cup, which was created in 1996. Currently, Virginia Tech holds the cup, having won the 2015 game 23–20. The trophy is constructed of marble and cherry wood, and is four feet high. It also contains the scores of all of the games in the series. The cup is engraved with the names of the two schools and is mounted atop a trapezoidal base that makes up most of the trophy's length. The front of the base features a stylized map of Virginia with Blacksburg and Charlottesville represented by stars on the map.'
Hunter Carpenter in early football days
The Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry has existed since the late 1800s, but did not reach pre-eminence until the 1980s. Traditionally, Virginia's primary rival had been the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which remains the South's Oldest Rivalry. Virginia Tech's rival was the Virginia Military Institute, with whom they shared a military tradition and similar acronyms (VMI and VPI).
The UVA/VPI rivalry began in earnest 1899, a year that saw Virginia take on northern powerhouses Penn State and Michigan. Virginia's final game of the season was against a squad in the middle of a disastrous first full season, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. That game, a 28–0 decision for Virginia, was a footnote in their year. But for at least one Virginia Tech player, the blowout was much more.
Hunter Carpenter enrolled at Virginia Tech in 1898. He became a man possessed by one thing after the 1899 rout: beating UVA in football. However, after five years of college, Hunter Carpenter graduated from Virginia Tech without achieving his goal.
Infuriated, he played in 1904 at the University of North Carolina. "I just want to beat the University of Virginia," Carpenter was quoted as saying by the Associated Press, in reference to his move to Chapel Hill. However, as a standout on the Tar Heels' football squad, he again failed to win against Virginia for two years in a row.
Carpenter returned to Virginia Tech in 1905 for a last shot at beating Virginia in his eighth year of college football. Going into the 1905 game, UVA was 8–0 against VPI by a cumulative score of 170–5. The Cavalier Daily ran a story outlining Carpenter's motives and move from Virginia Tech to UNC and back to Tech over the preceding eight years. Virginia accused Carpenter of being a professional player, as he had played college football already for nearly a decade.
Carpenter signed an affidavit that he had not received payment to play against UVA and, against a backdrop of recrimination, Carpenter led VPI to an 11-0 lead. Carpenter was ejected midway through the game for throwing the ball at the face of a Virginia defender, but stayed on the sidelines to watch as neither team was able to score against each other. Carpenter left immediately after the game and moved to Middleton, New York, never to return to the Commonwealth. Carpenter retired 1–7 against UVA, but the Cavaliers still refused to play Virginia Tech again until 1923.
|Virginia victories||Virginia Tech victories||Ties|
- "Virginia Tech vs Virginia". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Hokiesports.com Commonwealth Cup Trophy. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
- Brady, Erik (2007-11-22). "Virginia allegiances driven by rivalry on football field". College Football Update (USA Today).