MORGANTOWN — Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech’s veteran coach, is preparing his No. 3-ranked Hokies for a hostile environment in which to play West Virginia here Saturday.

“I don’t think there are any surprises in what kind of atmosphere it’s going to be up there,” he said Monday in a media conference call.

“We’d better be ready to play very well. We had a great team the last time we came to Morgantown and I remember what happened.”

WVU, unranked then as now, toppled Tech, 6-0 then and also ranked No. 3, in a 28-7 shocker two years ago. That remains the school’s biggest football victory in history.

Wins over Boston College and Miami, both ranked No. 4, were the greatest prior to that one.

“I’m proud of our team,” Beamer said. “I thought we beat a really good Georgia Tech team (51-7). Now it’s on to West Virginia this week.

“I think the teams certainly respect each other, and they really play hard. I just hope the fans do the same thing and show respect for everyone.”

Like WVU coach Rich Rodriguez, he played in this rivalry (1960s) and knows from personal experience how hard-fought the games are.

“And they always have been tough, going back to before Don Nehlen was the coach,” Beamer said. “There have been some great games over the years.”

He admittedly likes the way his defense has performed to date. “But it’s a long season,” he noted. “And the last time we were on their field, they put up some points on us.

“So we’ve got our work cut out for us this week.”

Beamer doesn’t like to hear people talking about his team’s national championship hopes this early in the season.

“I want our players to be very proud that they’re a Top 10 program,” he said. “They’ve worked hard to get there.

“Then after that, I want them to put their minds totally on West Virginia and try to get No. 5 in a place where it’s very difficult to win.

“They have good players and good coaches. I think you’d better be thinking about who your next opponent is (rather than national championship hopes).”

Asked about WVU’s running game, Beamer said:

“Those quarterbacks, particularly (Pat) White, are good runners, too. They kinda spread you out and run the football at you.

“We’ve got to be hard-nosed and see if we can’t get folks to the ball.”

He said Hokies quarterback Marcus Vick can be a dangerous guy, too, running with the ball.

Tech has won nine of the last 11 meetings, including 19-13 last year in Blacksburg. But WVU leads the all-time series by a 28-21-1 margin.

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