Bud Foster. Courtesy of Roanoke Valley Sports Club.

There is a grudge match aspect to the football games facing both Virginia and Virginia Tech this week.

Attendees at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club on Monday got to hear former Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster reflect on a 2003 game in Morgantown, W.Va., where then-No. 3 Tech lost to the Mountaineers 28-7.

The teams will meet again Thursday night in Blacksburg, where the Hokies (2-1) will meet the Mountaineers (1-2). West Virginia, with close losses to Pittsburgh and Kansas in its first two games, began the week as a one-point favorite.

The teams played every year from 1973-2005 in a series that rewarded the annual winner with the Black Diamond Trophy. When Virginia Tech entered the ACC, it was more difficult to have an annual spot for the Mountaineers, although they played Tech in 2017 in Landover, Md., and in Morgantown last year.

Foster regaled his audience Monday with tales of the mayhem that accompanied the 2003 game. Current Tech coach Brent Pry served as a graduate assistant at Tech from 1995-97 under Foster, who was quick to praise his protégé on Monday.

Familiarity

Farther to the north Saturday, Virginia will face Syracuse, whose offensive coordinator is Robert Anae, who held the same position at UVa during the six-year tenure of former head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who resigned after the 2021 season. There was speculation that Mendenhall’s resignation stemmed from a possible call from UVa officials that he make a change or changes in his coaching staff.

As it was, Virginia was in a position to hire a new head coach, which turned out to be Tony Elliott. Ex-UVa players turned assistants Marques Hagans and Clint Sintim were retained but Elliott, formerly the Clemson offensive coordinator, was going to have a big say in the offense.

Keeping Anae was not an option.

Des Kitchings, previously the receivers coach for the Atlanta Falcons, is the current UVa offensive coordinator.

Hawaiian ties

The Syracuse staff, it should be noted, includes quarterbacks coach Jason Beck, who had the same position when he worked with Anae at UVa. 

Anae is the fourth offensive coodinator for Syracuse head coach Dino Babers in seven years. At one point, they were on the same staff as assistants at Hawaii.

From the northwest

Wayne Taulapapa, transfer from Virginia, has 35 carries for a team-leading 188 yards for the University of Washington (3-0). Elsewhere in that state, Taulapapa’s running backs coach at UVa, Mark Atuia, is coaching the running backs at Washington State.

History

When Cornell University headed to Lexington for a game at VMI this past weekend, it marked the first time that Cornell had ever played a game in the state of Virginia, going back to the start of the Big Red program in 1887.

VMI does not list a single player on its football roster who is from New York. Cornell, which is located in Ithaca, N.Y., has a player from Alexandria, whose father played football for the Big Red, as well as a place-kicker from the same area. That’s all.

Roanoke bred

Josh Clifford, a fifth-year UVa football player from Glenvar in Roanoke County who was awarded a scholarship by Elliott before the season, had the distinction of joining two teammates for the coin toss in the Cavaliers’ 16-14 victory over Old Dominion.

Hokies’ QBs

One-time Virginia Tech quarterback Quincy Patterson, who transferred to North Dakota State, is now starting at quarterback for Temple, which is 1-2. Patterson, who was at Tech from 2018-2020, led NDSU to seven straight wins after his transfer.

Ex-Virginia Tech star Tyrod Taylor, the back-up quarterback for the New York Giants, has received a salary increase that will pay him $5 million, which ranks fourth in the NFL among QB back-ups.

Doug Doughty

Doug Doughty has been writing for more than 50 years starting as a high school student in Washington, D.C., through his undergraduate years at the University of Virginia, and 47 years at the Roanoke Times...