Georgia Tech: 23
Attempting to rebound from its second straight loss, Georgia Tech would play host to a red-hot Virginia Cavalier squad that had not lost in six straight attempts. Tech’s last win over the Cavs came in 2000 when George O’Leary’s Yellow Jackets shutout the Wahoos 35-0 at home in George Welsh’s final season as the UVA head coach. Virginia then narrowly took the 2001 meeting 39-38 to get within one game in the all-time series with Tech leading 12-11-1.
After its defense forced a quick three-and-out, Tech began with excellent field position when Kelly Rhino returned Tom Hagan’s punt 26 yards to the Virginia 44. Gordon Clinkscale reeled off 37 yards on first down and followed up with a 6 yard run to the Wahoo goal line. P.J. Daniel then finished off the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run to give the Jackets a 7-0 lead just under three minutes into the contest.
Virginia’s Matt Schaub put together a steady drive on the ensuing possession when he led the Cavaliers 72 yards in 11 plays to the Georgia Tech 8 yard line. The Hoos failed to capitalize on the possession, however, when Bryan Smith’s 25 yard field goal attempt missed wide to the right to give Tech possession at its own 20.
A.J. Suggs led the Jackets 72 yards in 12 plays to the Virginia 8 on the possession that followed before stalling at the Cavalier 8. Luke Manget then came on to connect from 25 yards out to put the Jackets ahead 10-0 with 3:42 left in the opening period.
Manget would hit a second field goal from 40 yards out at the start of the second quarter after a solid Ramblin’ Wreck defense forced a punt from the Virginia 11. The Jackets needed just 21 yards to setup the kick after taking over at the Virginia 44 following the punt.
Virginia briefly threatened again when it pushed to Tech 23, but failed to convert on 4th-and-2 to come away empty once more.
Suggs put together an impressive drive late in the half when he led Tech on an 11 play, 84 yard drive to extend the lead with roughly three minutes to play. The junior quarterback hooked up with Kerry Watkins for the score on a 12 yard pass that would put Tech on top 20-0.
A quick UVA punt set the Yellow Jacket offense back in motion just a minute later as it vied for a final score before intermission. Suggs completed his first three passes on the drive to push Tech 33 yards to the Virginia 46. Two plays later he found Watkins for 14 yards, and Daniels added 8 more on first down to the Cavalier 24. On 3rd-and-10, Suggs found Daniels for 14 yards to the 5, but the three passes that followed left Tech facing a 4th-and-goal from the UVA 2 yard line. With just one second to play, Chan Gailey elected to take the short field goal, and Tech would hold a 23-0 lead at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets opened the third quarter with a three play, five yard drive before punting to the Virginia 28. The Cavs then marched 72 yards in 7 plays to get on the scoreboard when Shaub found Jason Snelling for a 12 yard touchdown to make it 23-7 with 11:21 to play in the period.
Tech would cross the midfield stripe just once for the remainder of the contest when it pushed to the UVA 36 late in the third quarter before losing possession on a Will Glover fumble.
The Cavs advanced to Tech’s 6 and 25 yard lines on their next two possessions, but turned the ball over on downs on each occasion to come away empty handed.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Shaub compiled a 12 play, 83 yard drive to cut further into the Yellow Jacket lead. The junior quarterback and future Pro-Bowler went 7-10 for 66 yards and added 17 on the ground to account for all of the yards on the drive. His second rush came from 8 yards out for the score before following up with a run for the two-point conversion to make it 23-15 in favor of the Jackets.
Virginia threatened once more on their lone possession that followed, but Jeremy Muyers put a stop to the drive when he picked off Shaub at the Georgia Tech 14 with 1:25 remaining to seal the Georgia Tech victory.
The Cavs went on to split their remaining four contests to finish the regular season at 8-5. The record was enough to earn them an invitation to the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, where they would eventually drop the West Virginia Mountaineers 48-22 to finish the year at 9-5 with the #22 spot in the final AP poll.
UVA – 22
GT – 25
UVA – 53
GT – 211
UVA – 41-59-372
GT – 26-42-220
UVA – 1
GT – 0
UVA – 0-0
GT – 2-1
UVA – 3-25
GT – 10-66
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/102602aaa.html