Commonwealth Cup (Virginia)
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Commonwealth Cup Virginia
Virginia-Virginia Tech football rivalry
First meetingOctober 5, 1895
Virginia 38, VPI 0
Latest meetingNovember 29, 2019
Virginia 39, Virginia Tech 30
Next meetingDecember 12, 2020
StadiumsScott Stadium (est. 1931)
Lane Stadium (est. 1965)
TrophyCommonwealth Cup
Meetings total101
All-time seriesVirginia Tech leads, 58-38-5[1]
Largest victoryVirginia Tech, 48-0 (1983)
Longest win streakVirginia Tech, 15 (2004-2018)
Current win streakVirginia, 1 (2019-present)
Locations of Virginia and Virginia Tech
Opened in 1931, Scott Stadium is the oldest active football stadium in Virginia and is home of the Virginia Cavaliers. It has a capacity of 61,500.
Opened in 1965, Lane Stadium is the largest active football stadium in Virginia and is home of the Virginia Tech Hokies. It has a capacity of 65,632.

The Virginia-Virginia Tech football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Virginia Cavaliers football team of the University of Virginia (called Virginia in sports media and abbreviated UVA) and Virginia Tech Hokies football team of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (called Virginia Tech and abbreviated VT). The two schools first met in 1895 and have played annually since 1970. The game counts for 1 point in the Commonwealth Clash each year, and is part of the greater Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry.

Since 1990, the game has nearly always been held in late November, often on Thanksgiving weekend. The scheduling of this rivalry has taken the place of Virginia's South's Oldest Rivalry game versus North Carolina, which was played on Thanksgiving Day every year between 1910 and 1950 (save for when the programs disbanded during World War I).[a] It has also taken the place of the VMI-Virginia Tech football rivalry which was held on Thanksgiving Day up through 1971. In 1964, the UVA-VPI[b] game began alternating between Lane Stadium and Scott Stadium on the campuses of the two universities. Previously, the series was sometimes played in Richmond, Norfolk, and at Victory Stadium in Roanoke.[c]

The rivalry has seen many streaks. Virginia started 8-0 in the series, outscoring VPI 175-5. The Cavaliers again went unbeaten (7-0-1) from 1945 to 1952, outscoring the Gobblers[d] 267-47, with four shutouts. Soon after, UVA president Colgate Darden turned down an invite to the 1952 Orange Bowl and de-emphasized Virginia football (causing Art Guepe to leave the program).[2] VPI then went 12-2 in games from 1953 to 1966. More recently, Virginia Tech won a series record 15 straight games in the rivalry from 2004-2018 before the Cavaliers defeated the Hokies in 2019.

Virginia and Virginia Tech were both led by College Football Hall of Fame coaches in the 1980s and 1990s. George Welsh led UVA to a three-week run as the nation's AP No. 1 ranked team in 1990; shared ACC championships in 1989 and 1995; 85 ACC wins, second-most all-time (behind only Bobby Bowden); and an 8-6 record against Frank Beamer, a fellow Hall of Famer who led Virginia Tech to an appearance in a BCS National Championship Game; sole ACC championships in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010; four previous Big East Championships; and a dominant 14-1 record against Welsh's successors (Al Groh and Mike London). This rivalry game has three times served as a de facto Coastal Championship Game: in 2007 and 2011, won by Beamer's Hokies; and in 2019, won by Bronco Mendenhall's Cavaliers.

Commonwealth Cup Trophy

In 1996, a trophy was created for the rivalry, known as the Commonwealth Cup. The winning team holds the trophy until the next game, which has been held annually since 1970. Currently, the Virginia Cavaliers football team holds the cup, having won the 2019 game.

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.[3] 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.[4]'


The Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry has existed since the 1890s, 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, in a game which became known as the South's Oldest Rivalry. UVA and UNC had the most successful football programs of early Southern college football, as the name indicates: between 1889 and 1902, either Virginia or North Carolina claimed a southern championship in twelve out of fourteen years. VPI's rival was the Virginia Military Institute, with whom they shared a military tradition, geographic proximity, and similar acronyms (VMI and VPI).

The Virginia-VPI rivalry did have its heated moments, even early on. Hokie Hunter Carpenter, played nearly two full modern college football careers with Virginia Tech and the University of North Carolina. "[5]The Cavalier Daily accused Carpenter of being paid, as he had played college football already for nearly a decade.[5] Carpenter signed an affidavit that he had not received payment to play against UVA in any of the eight years (two of which he actually played for UNC in the South's Oldest Rivalry).[5] After the VPI victory, Carpenter threatened to sue the UVA student paper for libel and UVA refused to play VPI again for eighteen years after, until 1923.[5] Carpenter moved to Middletown, New York and never returned to the Commonwealth.

This rivalry game has been played in late November, often on Thanksgiving weekend, each year since 2000 and in every year but one (1999) since 1990. This was not always the case, as the aforementioned Virginia-Carolina and VPI-VMI rivalry games were played on Thanksgiving Day for much of the 20th century.

Memorable games

1995: Tech Comeback

The Virginia Cavaliers came into the '95 contest looking for their ninth regular season win. Virginia led 29-14 going into the fourth quarter, however Virginia Tech then stormed back and a Jim Druckenmiller touchdown pass to Jermaine Holmes gave the Hokies the lead with forty seven seconds left. The Cavaliers' last attempt to win the game was then snuffed out when a Mike Groh pass was intercepted and taken to the endzone by Antonio Banks, who avoided a feigned sideline trip by a UVA athletic trainer, Joe Gieck. The Hokies went on to the 1995 Sugar Bowl to defeat Texas, whereas Virginia went on to the 1995 Peach Bowl to defeat Georgia.

1998: Cavalier Revenge

Both teams entered the '98 matchup in ranked in the Top 25 and looking for their ninth win. Virginia Tech took no time jumping out in front. The Hokies took a 17-0 lead early and led at halftime 29-7. The Hoos then came out on fire and outscored the Hokies 29-3 in the second half. A now legendary touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Brooks to Ahmad Hawkins put Virginia up by four, and a Wali Rainer interception preserved a Virginia comeback victory, arguably their most impressive win in Blacksburg. By erasing a 22-point deficit in the second half, the Cavalier victory made for the greatest comeback win of the long series by either program. As in 1995, Virginia again faced Georgia, and again in the Peach Bowl, but this time narrowly losing. Virginia Tech avenged their rivalry loss by easily defeating Alabama in the 1998 Music City Bowl.

2003: Wali's World

The Virginia Cavaliers entered the '03 Commonwealth Cup looking to snap a four game losing streak against the Hokies. Virginia Tech led 14-7 at the half, but Virginia came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, and outscored Tech 21-0 by the 14 minute mark in the fourth quarter. Up by seven with only a few minutes left, Virginia pulled off a fake field goal on fourth down to keep possession away from the Hokies. Wali Lundy ran in it for the score on the next play, capping a dominant performance of three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown. Virginia held on to the win 35-21. This game also saw Matt Schaub tie Shawn Moore for all time passing touchdowns at Virginia. The Cavaliers went on to defeat Pittsburgh in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl, while the Hokies went on to lose to California in the 2003 Insight Bowl.

2018: The Fumble Touchdown

The '18 rivalry game saw the first overtime game, and perhaps the most dramatic fourth quarter, thus far in the long series. Virginia had high hopes of ending the 14-game losing streak against a Tech team that had mostly limped through the season. But Virginia Tech led 14-0 at halftime, only to fall behind by a touchdown with only two minutes remaining. On the ensuing Tech drive, the Hokies drove to the redzone. Hokie running back Steven Peoples fumbled the ball inside the five-yard line but it was recovered by wide receiver Hezekiah Grimsley in the endzone for a touchdown. The game then went into overtime and the Hokies managed only a field goal. Virginia completed a pass to the Hokie 14 on their first play, but quarterback Bryce Perkins fumbled on the next, and it was recovered by the defense to end the game, with a most unlikely Virginia Tech victory that extended their winning streak to 15 and bowl streak to 26. Despite the rivalry loss, Virginia went on to blank South Carolina in the 2018 Belk Bowl, while Virginia Tech lost to Cincinnati in the 2018 Military Bowl.

2019: Coastal Championship Game

No. 24 Virginia Tech (8-3) and unranked Virginia (8-3) were tied for 1st Place in the Coastal Division with identical 5-2 ACC records coming into the game, and so the traditional Thanksgiving weekend matchup was a de facto Coastal Championship Game with the winner to advance to the 2019 ACC Championship Game. The Hokies rolled into Charlottesville with a full head of steam, as quarterback Hendon Hooker was 6-0 as a starter and the Virginia Tech defense had just shut down Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh by the combined score of 73-0 in Bud Foster's final season. The Hokies had also won 15 consecutive games in the rivalry (including two previous division championship games eight and twelve years prior) and were favored to win again.[6] But Virginia and quarterback Bryce Perkins had other plans. Perkins completed 20-of-33 passes for 311 yards and rushed for another 164, totaling 475 combined yards as a one-man wrecking crew against Foster's vaunted defense. In a fourth quarter that easily rivaled the previous year's in intensity and excitement, Cavalier kicker Brian Delaney made a 48-yard field goal with 1:23 left in the game to lead 33-30 and the Cavalier defensive line then sacked Hooker on three consecutive plays. On the third sack the Hokie quarterback fumbled in his own end zone and the ball was recovered by Virginia in the end zone with 1:01 left, effectively ending the game. With the win, UVA ended the season with a perfect 7-0 record at Scott Stadium.[6] Virginia players had head coach Bronco Mendenhall "break the rock" with a sledgehammer after the game, an action traditionally reserved for the most valuable player as selected by his peers in Cavalier victories.[7] Mendenhall thus became the first Virginia coach to bring both the Commonwealth Cup and Jefferson-Eppes Trophy to Charlottesville at the same time after earlier handling FSU (with the team additionally winning the trophyless South's Oldest Rivalry). Virginia went on to face Florida in the 2019 Orange Bowl, whereas Virginia Tech faced Kentucky in the 2019 Belk Bowl.

Game results

Virginia victoriesVirginia Tech victoriesTie games
1 October 5, 1895 Charlottesville Virginia 38-0
2 October 31, 1896 Charlottesville Virginia 44-0
3 November 11, 1899 Charlottesville Virginia 28-0
4 November 14, 1900 Charlottesville Virginia 17-5
5 October 26, 1901 Charlottesville Virginia 16-0
6 November 15, 1902 Charlottesville Virginia 6-0
7 October 24, 1903 Richmond Virginia 21-0
8 November 5, 1904 Richmond Virginia 5-0
9 November 4, 1905 Charlottesville VPI 11-0
10 November 17, 1923 Charlottesville VPI 6-3
11 November 15, 1924 Charlottesville Virginia 6-0
12 November 14, 1925 Charlottesville Virginia 10-0
13 October 23, 1926 Blacksburg VPI 6-0
14 October 22, 1927 Charlottesville Virginia 7-0
15 November 10, 1928 Blacksburg VPI 20-0
16 November 9, 1929 Charlottesville VPI 32-12
17 November 8, 1930 Blacksburg VPI 31-13
18 November 14, 1931 Charlottesville Tie0-0
19 November 12, 1932 Blacksburg VPI 13-0
20 November 18, 1933 Charlottesville Tie6-6
21 November 17, 1934 Blacksburg VPI 19-6
22 November 16, 1935 Charlottesville Tie0-0
23 November 14, 1936 Blacksburg VPI 7-6
24 November 13, 1937 Charlottesville VPI 14-7
25 October 15, 1938 Blacksburg Virginia 14-6
26 November 18, 1939 Charlottesville VPI 13-0
27 November 2, 1940 Norfolk VPI 6-0
28 November 1, 1941 Norfolk Virginia 34-0
29 October 31, 1942 Norfolk VPI 20-14
30 October 27, 1945 Roanoke Virginia 31-13
31 October 5, 1946 Roanoke Tie21-21
32 October 4, 1947 Roanoke Virginia41-7
33 October 2, 1948 Roanoke Virginia 28-0
34 October 8, 1949 Roanoke Virginia 26-0
35 October 7, 1950 Roanoke Virginia 45-6
36 October 6, 1951 Roanoke Virginia 33-0
37 October 4, 1952 Roanoke #16 Virginia 42-0
38 September 26, 1953 Charlottesville VPI 20-6
39 October 23, 1954 Roanoke VPI 6-0
40 October 22, 1955 Roanoke VPI 17-13
41 October 27, 1956 Roanoke VPI 14-7
42 October 19, 1957 Richmond Virginia38-7
43 October 11, 1958 Roanoke VPI 22-13
44 October 17, 1959 Richmond VPI 40-14
45 October 22, 1960 Roanoke VPI 40-6
46 October 21, 1961 Roanoke VPI 20-0
47 October 6, 1962 Roanoke VPI 20-15
48 October 5, 1963 Roanoke VPI 10-0
49 October 3, 1964 Charlottesville Virginia 20-17
50 October 23, 1965 Blacksburg VPI 22-14
51 October 22, 1966 Charlottesville VPI 24-7
52 September 12, 1970 Blacksburg Virginia 7-0
53 November 6, 1971 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 6-0
54 September 16, 1972 Charlottesville Virginia 24-20
55 October 20, 1973 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 27-15
56 October 19, 1974 Charlottesville Virginia 28-27
57 October 18, 1975 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 24-17
58 October 16, 1976 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 14-10
59 October 15, 1977 Blacksburg Tie14-14
60 October 21, 1978 Charlottesville Virginia 17-7
61 November 10, 1979 Charlottesville Virginia 20-18
62 October 18, 1980 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 30-0
63 November 28, 1981 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 20-3
64 November 25, 1982 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 21-14
65 November 19, 1983 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 48-0
66 September 29, 1984 Blacksburg Virginia 26-23
67 October 19, 1985 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 28-10
68 October 25, 1986 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 42-10
69 September 19, 1987 Charlottesville Virginia 14-13
70 October 29, 1988 Blacksburg Virginia 16-10
71 November 11, 1989 Charlottesville #18 Virginia 32-25
72 November 24, 1990 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 38-13
73 November 23, 1991 Charlottesville #20 Virginia 38-0
74 November 21, 1992 Blacksburg #23 Virginia 41-38
75 November 20, 1993 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 20-17
76 November 19, 1994 Blacksburg #16 Virginia 42-23
77 November 18, 1995 Charlottesville #20 Virginia Tech 36-29
78 November 29, 1996 Blacksburg #17 Virginia Tech 26-9
79 November 29, 1997 Charlottesville Virginia 34-20
80 November 28, 1998 Blacksburg #16 Virginia 36-32
81 October 2, 1999 Charlottesville #8 Virginia Tech 31-7
82 November 25, 2000 Blacksburg #6 Virginia Tech 42-21
83 November 17, 2001 Charlottesville #18 Virginia Tech 31-17
84 November 30, 2002 Blacksburg #22 Virginia Tech 21-9
85 November 29, 2003 Charlottesville Virginia 35-21
86 November 27, 2004 Blacksburg #11 Virginia Tech 24-10
87 November 19, 2005 Charlottesville #7 Virginia Tech 52-14
88 November 25, 2006 Blacksburg #17 Virginia Tech 17-0
89 November 24, 2007 Charlottesville #8 Virginia Tech 33-21
90 November 29, 2008 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 17-14
91 November 28, 2009 Charlottesville #14 Virginia Tech 42-13
92 November 27, 2010 Blacksburg #14 Virginia Tech 37-7
93 November 26, 2011 Charlottesville #4 Virginia Tech 38-0
94 November 24, 2012 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 17-14
95 November 30, 2013 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 16-6
96 November 28, 2014 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 24-20
97 November 28, 2015 Charlottesville Virginia Tech 23-20
98 November 26, 2016 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 52-10
99 November 24, 2017 Charlottesville #24 Virginia Tech 10-0
100 November 23, 2018 Blacksburg Virginia Tech 34-31OT
101 November 29, 2019 Charlottesville Virginia 39-30
102 December 12, 2020 Blacksburg
Series: Virginia Tech leads 58-38-5[1]

See also


  1. ^ There was no lasting or set scheduling to either rivalry between 1951 and 1989.
  2. ^ VPI changed its name to Virginia Tech in 1970.
  3. ^ in Richmond 1903-1904 and 1957; in Norfolk 1940-1942; and in Roanoke 17 of 19 years from 1945 to 1963
  4. ^ Virginia Tech teams were called the Gobblers until 1981.


  1. ^ a b "Winsipedia - Virginia Cavaliers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies football series history". Winsipedia.
  2. ^ Watterson, John. "University of Virginia Football 1951-1961: A Perfect Gridiron Storm" (PDF). Journal of Sports History. James Madison University.
  3. ^ "".
  4. ^ Commonwealth Cup Trophy. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d Brady, Erik (2007-11-22). "Virginia allegiances driven by rivalry on football field". College Football Update. USA Today.
  6. ^ a b 2019 Commonwealth Cup Odds and Predictions, accessed November 29, 2019
  7. ^ Watch Bronco Mendenhall Break the Rock after UVA Defeats VT, accessed December 2, 2019

External links

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