Georgia Tech: 17
Fresh off of a 41-24 win against North Carolina to become bowl-eligible, Georgia Tech looked to improve its post-season resume with a trip to Charlottesville to face the 5-5 Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. The Jackets had not won at Virginia since a 41-38 victory in 1990 against the then top-ranked Cavs en route to the 1990 National Championship; since then, Tech had lost five straight in Charlottesville. Following a 4-1 start to the season, Virginia struggled with its next five games, going 1-4 over the stretch to fall to .500 with its lone with a 24-0 victory over the Troy State Trojans.
Virginia dominated the first quarter to jump out to an early 10-0 lead. Following a Tech punt on the opening possession, the Cavalier offense traveled 80 yards in 10 plays to score the game’s first points on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub to Heath Miller. P.J. Daniels then surrendered a fumble on the ensuing drive and Schaub returned to lead the Cavs 31 yards to the Ramblin’ Wreck 13 before stalling. Connor Hughes then came on to connect from 31 yards out to extend the lead with 2:24 left in the opening period.
Early in the second quarter, the Cavs pushed within the Tech red zone and looked as if they would capture another touchdown. But a stingy Yellow Jacket defense turned the Wahoos away at the one yard line, and a false start penalty eventually forced a short field goal by Hughes that would increase the Virginia lead to 13-0.
The Jackets drove 76 yards on the drive that followed to crack the scoreboard with a 15 yard touchdown run by Daniels. Reggie Ball repeatedly hooked up with his receivers en route to the Cavalier red zone to setup the score and put the Jackets back in the game at 13-7.
But Virginia quickly answered after Schaub hit Miller for 30 yards to the Georgia Tech 37. While the Yellow Jacket defense prevented the touchdown, it eventually surrendered a 50 yard field goal to Hughes that pushed the Wahoo lead to 16-7.
The Jackets then gave the Cavs another shot at a score when they gave up a 53 yard punt return to Marques Hagans with 2:19 to play in the opening half. From the Yellow Jackets 21, Schaub slowly led Virginia to the Tech end zone, consuming all but 35 seconds from the clock en route to the touchdown. Hagans accounted for the score with a 2 yard draw, and Virginia would lead 23-7 at intermission.
After the break, Tech put up 10 third quarter points to claw back into the game with one period remaining. Jonathan Smith first notched a touchdown with an 80 yard punt return midway through the period, and Dan Burnett gave the Jackets a field goal from 37 yards out after Ball’s 3rd down pass to Smith failed to move the sticks.
But it was here that the Georgia Tech comeback bid fell short. Schaub led the Cavs on a 15 play, 58 yard drive to open the fourth quarter with a 30 yard field goal to push it to 26-17. A Reggie Ball interception then put Virginia back in scoring position, and Hughes would add a 20 yard field goal with 5:21 remaining to reach the 29-17 final. The Jackets did not seriously threaten again for the remainder of the contest.
Following the win, Virginia went on to defeat the rival Virginia Tech Hokies on Thanksgiving weekend to finish the regular season at 7-5 and earn a trip to the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, NC where they would face the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Cavs would defeat the Panthers by a score of 23-16 to finish the year at 8-5, overall.
GT – 17
UVA – 20
GT – 116
UVA – 89
GT – 16-30-157
UVA – 18-37-275
GT – 1
UVA – 0
GT – 2-1
UVA – 0-0
GT – 2-20
UVA – 4-30
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/112203aaa.html