The other side of the story to the end of The Streak
It’s one game, but Virginia’s 39-30 win over Virginia Tech, the program’s first win over its in-state rival since 2003, feels like it could mean a lot more.
For Virginia, it means an ACC Coastal Division title, an ACC Championship Game against Clemson, an Orange Bowl.
For Virginia Tech, it was Bud Foster’s last game in the Commonwealth.
And who knows, was it maybe also Justin Fuente’s last game at Tech?
Fuente has been linked to the opening at Arkansas, which will undoubtedly pay whoever its next coach will be significantly more than the $4 million a year that Fuente is making at Virginia Tech, where he has never really been the darling of that fan base that his predecessor, Frank Beamer, was.
Fuente wasn’t talking about any of that after Friday’s game, instead focusing on the task at hand.
“We have another game to play,” Fuente said. “We have got to go find out what bowl game we are going to, finish finals, train for that and develop young people. Hopefully, we will have another opportunity to play well together.”
Ahem, hopefully. Not trying to make any more of whatever it is with Arkansas than it should be, but you have to think the folks down there in Fayetteville are going to be working feverishly over the next few days to line up their next head coach, to have that man and a staff in place to get the recruiting season started with an eye on 2020.
A win for Tech on Friday, and Fuente is focused on Clemson next Saturday night, and likely isn’t even a candidate for the Arkansas position.
He’s at least on the table now with nothing competing for his attention until bowl bids are announced on Dec. 8.
Foster, we know, has that one game left, hard as that is to believe.
His Hokies D had pitched back-to-back shutouts of Georgia Tech and Pitt coming in, but surrendered 492 yards to Virginia in his last game against the rivals.
“It was great football game, I’m sure from the fans’ perspective. From a coach’s standpoint, it was not that much fun, especially at the end there,” Foster said postgame. “If we were on that other side, it would be a lot of fun. Luckily, we have been on that positive side a lot more than we haven’t. Our kids will remember this, I think.
“I talked to them about a rivalry. A rivalry is when two teams win, and now this team won. So yeah, we will need to kick this thing back up again when it is all said and done.”
Damn, that’s a lot of shade there from a guy who is going out on the losing side.
Reminder, Bud, The Streak now stands at one.
Wait … more shade from Bud?
“Obviously, we like to compete against this program. We want to beat this program. But it has been a great rivalry. I was here 33 years ago. We lost that one, unfortunately, and we lost this last one,” Foster said. “I have a lot of respect for this program and the people here, the guys I have had an opportunity to coach against. George Welsh, to Al Groh, to Mike London and now Bronco, are all guys I have gotten to know. The games over the years have been extremely close. Some have obviously been lopsided. No matter what, you know you are going to get everyone’s best shot. And that’s a credit to the competitors that step on that field from these two programs.”
Have fun in El Paso.
Story by Chris Graham