Posted by Chip Patterson
VIRGINIA WON. With one week to prepare, Virginia's defense played their best game at the right time to lead the Cavaliers to the 24-21 upset over the No. 12 Georgia Tech. The Homecoming crowd was on their feet all afternoon as Georgia Tech's offense was held to converting only 6 of 14 third downs and just 296 total yard of offense - well below their average of 553.5.
HOW VIRIGNIA WON: The Cavaliers dominated the Yellow Jackets in the trenches on both sides of the ball, winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and causing all kinds of problems for Al Groh's defense. Perry Jones and Kevin Parks combined for 235 yards rushing on 35 attempts, and Virginia nearly out gained Georgia Tech in team rushing yards. The defensive line was able to get penetration and frustrate Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, forcing him to miss pitch opportunities and rush passes in his few attempts. Washington completed four of his eight pass attempts, but two of them were caught by Virginia receivers.
WHEN VIRGINIA WON: Georgia Tech took over midway through the fourth quarter with great field position and an opportunity to march down the field for a game-tying or game-winning score. Three unsuccessful Tevin Washington rush attempts later, Sean Poole punted away the last possession the Yellow Jackets offense would see. Virginia pounded the ball with Parks and Jones, picking up seven first downs and burning the clock down to 0:00. Secon-year head coach Mike London looked to the crowd with his hands in the air, and the students charged the field to celebrate the Cavs' biggest win of the season.
WHAT VIRGINIA WON: Rejuvenation. Headed into their off week, the Cavaliers had not put together a complete performance yet this season. From the fast 14-point start to pounding the ball late in the fourth quarter to milk the clock, the Cavaliers can use this game to turn around their season. This surge in confidence could come in handy as the Cavaliers will have a chance to face N.C. State next week back in front of the home crowd.
WHAT GEORGIA TECH LOST: The driver's seat in the ACC Coastal Division. With Virginia Tech turning things around in Blacksburg and Miami picking up the win in Chapel Hill, the Yellow Jackets are no longer the cream of the crop in the division. They probably would have liked a game or two lead headed into their next three conference games - facing Miami, Clemson, and Virginia Tech on a Thursday night in Atlanta.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Virginia has been working a two-quarterback system and Georgia Tech is definitely a rush-first team, but both teams struggled mightily moving the ball through the air. The three quarterbacks' combined numbers were 11 for 27, with one touchdown and three interceptions. Any talk of Georgia Tech finding a passing game (including mentions from this writer) is clearly crazy.
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