Last April, the Kansas athletic department passed out more than 700 Virginia Tech T-shirts to its student-athletes and officials as a tribute to the 32 victims of the tragic shooting spree at the Blacksburg, Va., campus on April 16. Women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson, who worked at Virginia Tech for 14 years before coming to KU, spearheaded the effort, and the baseball and track teams wore the shirts in competition that weekend.
Almost nine months later, the Kansas football team will be able to pay its tribute in person. The Jayhawks will stand with Virginia Tech and observe a moment of silence before the teams kick off the 74th Orange Bowl.
"God has blessed everything that has happened there," said KU safety Darrell Stuckey. "They persevered through that and came back to another bowl game."
Virginia Tech did more than persevere. The Hokies were one onside-kick recovery against Boston College away from possibly playing in the national championship game. Kansas? It, too, pictured itself in the title game when it was 11-0 and ranked No. 2 in late November. But the Orange Bowl is no consolation game. Both programs are motivated to leave Miami with the first BCS bowl victory in school history.
It sounds like it will be a good game and one more thing to (welcomingly) distract me from studying for my field exam...
Here is a neat fan video paying tribute to the Hokies' football team and to my alma mater:
Below is a summary of the Hokies season so far, with only two losses -- the first to LSU and the other to Boston College. My team has done me proud.
- Sept. 1: Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 7
- Sept. 8: LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7
- Sept. 15: Virginia Tech 28, Ohio 7
- Sept. 22: Virginia Tech 44, William & Mary 3
- Sept. 29: Virginia Tech 17, North Carolina 10
- Oct. 6: Virginia Tech 41, Clemson 23
- Oct. 13: Virginia Tech 43, Duke 14
- Oct. 25: Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10
- Nov. 1: Virginia Tech 27, Georgia Tech 3
- Nov. 10: Virginia Tech 40, Florida St. 21
- Nov. 17: Virginia Tech 44, Miami 14
- Nov. 24: Virginia Tech 33, Virginia 21
- Dec. 1: Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 16
Tonight, Jan. 3: Kansas 8:00 p.m.