The Washington Post

Virginia Tech, West Virginia renew football rivalry

Frank Beamer’s Hokies have agreed to play the Mountaineers again. Virginia Tech will play at West Virginia in 2021 and the Hokies will host in 2022. (Geoff Burke/GETTY IMAGES)

Virginia Tech fans have been clamoring for years about the school’s dormant football rivalry with West Virginia. On Wednesday, their wishes were finally granted.

The Hokies and Mountaineers announced the battle for the Black Diamond Trophy will be renewed once again when the two schools meet on the gridiron in 2021 and 2022. The contract will start with a game in Morgantown, W.Va., on Sept. 18, 2021 and the second year of the deal will take place in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 24.

Virginia Tech and West Virginia have played 51 times since 1912, but had not faced one another since 2005.

“I am pleased we are able to resume this rivalry between Virginia Tech and West Virginia and have every belief that this rivalry will flourish and be good for college football,” Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver said in a school-issued statement.

In their last meeting, Virginia Tech beat West Virginia, 34-17, but the lasting image was Hokies quarterback Marcus Vick celebrating the victory by flipping off Mountaineers fans in Morgantown.

West Virginia and Virginia Tech played every year between 1973 and 2005, but the series was discontinued once the Hokies left the Big East for the ACC. There were also concerns about fan safety given the intensity of the rivalry. The Mountaineers bolted the Big East for the Big 12 last year.

Since 1997, Virginia Tech and West Virginia have competed for the Black Diamond Trophy, a reference to the region’s history with the coal industry.

In 2021, Virginia Tech is already scheduled to face Michigan at Lane Stadium in nonconference play. West Virginia is the Hokies’s first scheduled nonconference contest for 2022.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.
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