Firsts are rare when a football rivalry dates to 1895, but Virginia Tech made history Saturday with its beatdown of Virginia.
Never had the Hokies housed the Cavaliers by four touchdowns or more in consecutive seasons.
They have now.
Saturday's wreckage was 37-7. A year ago it was 42-13.
Never had the Hokies beaten the Cavaliers seven years running.
They have now, and no one pretends the trends are misleading.
"They're the measuring stick right now," Virginia coach Mike London said. "You're humbled by the fact that that's where you've got to go."
The Cavaliers finished 4-8 in London's first season, 1-7 in the ACC, their worst conference record since 1981. They progressed from last year, but good luck reaching the Hokies' heights.
Truth is, darn few attain Tech's consistency.
The Hokies (10-2, 8-0) are the nation's only program to win at least 10 games the past seven seasons. They're headed to an 18th consecutive bowl, are the first team to go unbeaten through the ACC since Florida State in 2000 and have won 10 straight games since a bumbling 0-2 start.
Some fans insist such streaks mask Tech's national-championship void, and to a point, they're right. But they also speak to a remarkable stability that not even a Week 2 loss to James Madison could shake.
"Out of whack" is a pet phrase of Hokies coach Frank Beamer. He uses it to describe games that snowball out of control.
His players and his coaches rarely get out of whack, a reflection of the man who's coached his alma mater for 24 seasons and Saturday passed Hall of Famer Woody Hayes for career victories with 239.
"We keep grinding and keep grinding and it works out for us," linebacker Bruce Taylor said.
It certainly did Saturday.
Tech's offense failed to make a first down on its three first-quarter possessions. The defense yielded 73 yards and four first downs in the opening period.
But neither team scored, and when Eddie Whitley's interception and 19-yard return gave the Hokies first-and-goal at the 5 early in the second quarter, the rout commenced.
Tech tailbacks David Wilson, Darren Evans and David Wilson combined for 177 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries, with Wilson adding a score on a 20-yard reception. After yielding a 22-yard pass completion on Virginia's first third down, the Hokies stuffed the Cavaliers on 12 consecutive third downs, plus three fourth downs.
The talent gap was evident when quarterback Marc Verica attempted to hit tailback Perry Jones on a wheel route down the right sideline. Taylor ran stride-for-stride with Jones.
When opposing linebackers can hang with your tailbacks, chances are it's going to be a miserable day.
Sure enough, Tech led 37-0 and was envisioning next Saturday's ACC championship game by the time Virginia scored with 2:59 remaining.
"Where we started to where we (are) right now: They've been remarkable," Beamer said of his players.
The only other Tech squad with a double-digit winning streak was the '99 crowd that went 11-0 before losing the national title game to Florida State. This team isn't nearly that good.
But these Hokies are stocked at the skill positions — quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the linchpin — and resourceful on defense. Their kicker, Chris Hazley, has made 19 consecutive field goals.
It's a level to which Virginia can only aspire, with this carrot: The Cavaliers won at least seven games every season from 1987-99 under George Welsh — this before 12-game regular seasons, conference title contests and bowl bids for .500 teams.
"We'll get older, we'll get bigger, we'll get stronger," London vowed, while also acknowledging: "You're trying to get players to believe in themselves when maybe no one else does."
Belief is not an issue in Blacksburg.
"It's hard to look back (at 0-2) when we have so much going for us now," Evans said.
"Proud" is a word Beamer has used frequently the 10-game run, but with the ACC championship game and bowl ahead, Whitley wants more.
"What would be more satisfying," he said, "is 12 wins in a row."
David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime, and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP.