History behind the Hokies versus Mountaineers battle for the Black Diamond Trophy

(William Wotring, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech will take on West Virginia University on their home turf Thursday, competing for the Black Diamond Trophy.

Some fans’ traditions were alive and well for the rivalry game, which dates back to 1921.

The Hokies most recently met the Mountaineers in 2021 and in 2017, but haven’t faced off before that since 2005.

The Black Diamond Trophy originated in 1997 as an ode to Appalachia. Coal, or “black diamond,” is symbolic of the region’s history.

The teams have faced off 53 times since 1921, with West Virginia leading 29-23-1.

According to Hokie Sports, Thursday’s game will be the first “Black Diamond” face-off in Lane Stadium in about 18 years. The last game played in Blacksburg was on Oct. 4, 2004, when the Hokies won 19-13 over the Mountaineers.

On Nov. 6, 1999, Virginia Tech took on West Virginia in the “Miracle in Morgantown.” With only a minute remaining, the No. 3 Hokies took the lead and won, putting them on track for the national championship.

The greatest upset of the matchup series was on Oct. 22, 2003, when the Hokies held the spot of No. 3 in the country. The Mountaineers took the win against the highly-anticipated Hokie team with a score of 28-7.

The winner of Thursday’s sold-out game will have bragging rights for the foreseeable future as there are no current plans for games in the coming years.

10 News’ Brooke Leonard was in Blacksburg before kickoff where fans were gearing up for the face-off.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.