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December 10, 2010

Hokies with one more step to make history

By: Jimmy Robertson

Tech head coach Frank Beamer teased his team.

They wanted him to dance following the Hokies’ victory over North Carolina. They implored him to get down after the win at Miami. They beseeched him to boogie after the dismantling of Virginia in the regular-season finale.

Each time, he told them no, not yet. Work remained.

But following Tech’s 44-33 victory over Florida State in the ACC championship game, Beamer gave the guys what they wanted.

With the help of Bruce Taylor and Davon Morgan, the 64-year-old coach stood on a chair and broke out into his own rendition of “The Dougie,” a recent dance craze patterned off moves from longtime rapper Doug E Fresh. Video of Beamer’s dance practically went viral on the Internet, and his version left an already boisterous locker room howling in delight.

“It’s awesome,” tight end Andre Smith said. “That shows the type of person he is. He can fit right in with us in good times. For him to stand in front us like that and start dancing – and that’s not the first time he’s done it – it’s a good feeling. Everyone has a great time when he does it.”

It’s hard to fault Tech’s head coach or any member of his staff or any player for busting a move on a chilly night in Charlotte. After all, the victory capped an improbable 11-game marathon to the program’s fourth ACC crown.

It has been an unbelievable season for the Hokies, who lost to a WAC team (Boise State) and a Football Championship Subdivision foe (JMU) in their first two games. In those two, they looked like they had two left feet.

Despite injuries (Kwamaine Battle, Ryan Williams, Dyrell Roberts, etc.) and early-game struggles (deficits in eight of 13 games), Tech won its remaining games. The Hokies clinched the Coastal Division down in Miami and then beat nemesis FSU for the title.

“We couldn’t have done it without each other, and that’s what makes me so happy,” cornerback Rashad Carmichael said. “If we learned one thing, it’s that you need each other. No matter how good you play or what you do, somebody on the other side of the field would get the pressure that helped [Jayron] Hosley get that interception, or something like that. Everybody understands that. This team, it won’t be like this again.”

For sure, the Hokies have made history. They became the first FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) team to win 11 straight in a season after starting 0-2. They became the first ACC team to win nine games against conference opponents in a season.

But there is more work to be done – and more history possibly to be made.

With a victory over Stanford – 11-1 and ranked fourth in the BCS standings – in the Orange Bowl, the Hokies’ senior class will be the winningest class in Tech history with 43 wins. The Hokies could be the first team in school history to win three straight bowl games. Also, they could become the first team in school history to win 12 games in a season.

Can you imagine that – 12 wins after losing their first two games, including one to an FCS opponent?

“To be able to be the winningest class ever and to be the first to get 12 wins, people would remember this season forever,” Carmichael said.

“This is a special team,” Beamer said. “You know, one more win in the Orange Bowl and I’m going to be talking about this team for a long time. Every Hokie Club meeting I go to, they’re going to hear about this football team. But … we need to get that done.

“We’ve had a team that played for a national championship and we had one that started 0-2 and went to the Sugar Bowl and beat Texas. But this team may top all that.”

This task will be the toughest the Hokies face this season. Stanford’s fans may tailgate with chardonnay and Brie, but head coach Jim Harbaugh’s bunch is all beer and bratwurst.

The Cardinal, behind one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, play power football. They boast one of the nation’s most physical offensive lines and a rugged defense. Plus, Harbaugh ranks as one of the nation’s top coaches.

Veiw video of Beamer dancing in locker room. Click Here.