WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — "It just made sense."
That was the sentiment of both WVU athletic director Oliver Luck and Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer upon announcing the renewal of a football series between the two schools, who will once again battle for the Black Diamond Trophy.
It's going to take some time for the two old rivals to meet again — the first game will be played in Morgantown on Sept. 18, 2021 and the return game will be played in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 24, 2022 — but both representatives are looking forward to renewing the series, which WVU leads 28-22-1.
"It's down the road a little bit, but it's the first time they could squeeze us into their schedule," said Luck, who played in the series four times, splitting those four meetings from 1978 through 1981. "But it becomes more important given the geography of the Big 12. Getting a school like Virginia Tech means a lot."
"It's two great universities that have had some great competition," agreed Beamer, who's 12-7 against the Mountaineers. "We've always had great respect for them, and I think they feel the same way about us. Where we're located, it's the right thing to do. We'll take fans to Morgantown, and they'll bring fans to Blacksburg."
The schools played every year from 1973 through 2005, 13 of those meetings as Big East Conference foes from 1991 through 2003, but the series stopped after back-to-back Hokie wins in 2004 and 2005 as Virginia Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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Luck didn't play against Virginia Tech in 1978 — he broke his collar bone during his freshman season — but he threw for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and ran for 54 yards and another score, to lead WVU to a 34-23 victory over the Hokies his sophomore season.