Under coach Frank Beamer, Thursday night games became a mainstay of Virginia Tech's schedule. Just one team has played more Thursday night games on ESPN than the Hokies. That team: Georgia Tech.
And so it is fitting that, in their sixth Thursday night confrontation in Beamer's 29 seasons at Virginia Tech and first game after the legendary coach announced his retirement, the Hokies knocked off Georgia Tech 23-21. It was an sloppy game between two teams desperately fighting for bowl eligibility, with five turnovers, a missed extra point, ten punts, five three-and-outs, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Georgia Tech that took the Yellow Jackets out of range for a go-ahead field goal.
While the game was ugly, it was also true to form for Beamer and longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster. After a first quarter in which Georgia Tech scored two touchdowns and racked up 143 yards, Foster's defense adjusted to the triple option and stiffened. The Yellow Jackets offense managed just 115 yards for the rest of the game. More importantly, Paul Johnson's offense did not score again. The Hokies defense even set up the game-winning score, forcing and recovering a fumble deep in Georgia Tech territory to help a Virginia Tech offense that managed just 343 total yards.
Beamer finishes his career with an astonishing 21-9 record in Thursday night games, including a perfect 6-0 record against Georgia Tech on Thursdays. More importantly for his final season, the win gives the Hokies five victories on the season. A split of the final two games on their schedule, against North Carolina and rival Virginia, would keep Beamer's vaunted 22-year bowl streak intact. It would be a fitting end for a coach that built the Virginia Tech program from a doormat to a national contender.