UVa's second-half outburst ends Tech's streak over in-state rivals
By Jimmy Robertson
November 29, 2003

Post Game Notes #21 Virginia Tech Hokies
at Virginia Cavaliers
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2003
Scott Stadium - Charlottesville, Va.
  • The Hokies and Cavaliers met for the 85th time today. It is the longest series, games-wise, for Virginia Tech, with the VMI series (79 games) marking the second-longest. Virginia Tech now leads the overall series, 43-37-5.

  • Ernest Wilford's first catch of the game marked the 26th-consecutive game in which the senior has caught a pass. The last game he didn't catch a pass was the Gator Bowl following the 2001 season.

  • Linebacker Vegas Robinson recorded his second interception of the season and the fifth of his career in the first quarter, thanks to the deflection by Jordan Trott. The turnover led to a Kevin Jones touchdown.

  • Jones' 20 rushing touchdowns this season rank third in Virginia Tech single-season history. Lee Suggs scored an NCAA-high 27 touchdowns in 2000 and scored 22 in 2002.

  • With six receptions, Wilford now has 118 for his career, passing Ricky Scales (113 rec.; 1972-74) and moving into second place all-time at Tech for career receptions. He is now just four away from breaking the school record held by Antonio Freeman (121 rec.; 1991-94). He also has 1,942 career receiving yards, fourth-best all-time at Virginia Tech. Andre Davis (1,986 yds.; 1998-01) sits in third place.

  • Mike Imoh recorded his third receiving touchdown of the season on a 43-yard catch-and-run. The sophomore had two at Rutgers earlier this year. He also has a kickoff return for a score this season.

  • With 75 rushing yards against UVa, Jones now has 3,322 rushing yards for his career, keeping him in third place all-time at Tech. Sitting in second place is Roscoe Coles (3,459 yds.; 1974-77). Jones finished the regular season with a school-record 1,494 yards rushing on 265 carries (5.6 ypc) and 20 TDs. He also has 10 receptions for 136 yards. He will have one more game to increase those numbers as bowl games stats will count for the second year in a row.

  • Jones had three catches for 41 yards against the Cavaliers. The last time a Tech tailback had more yards receiving was in the 2001 Gator Bowl against Clemson, when Andre Kendrick had two receptions for 55 yards. The last time a tailback had more receiving yards in a regular season game was in 1997 when Lamont Pegues had one catch for 47 yards at Virginia.

  • With 260 yards of total offense, Bryan Randall moved past Jim Druckenmiller (4,634 yds.; 1993-96) and into fifth place all-time at Virginia Tech for career total offense. Randall now has 4,869 yards and trails Steve Casey (4,987 yds.; 1978-81) by 118 yards for fourth place.

  • Both Randall and Marcus Vick played at quarterback and wide receiver at some point during the game. In addition, No. 3 quarterback Chris Clifton also saw action as a receiver. It is believed to be the first time under head coach Frank Beamer that two quarterbacks also played receiver at some point during the game.

  • Virginia tight end Heath Miller's 13 receptions are tied for the second-most ever by a Tech opponent. Maryland's Frank Wychek had 14 catches for 104 yards in 1990. Florida State's Ron Sellers (1966) and Pittsburgh's Antonio Bryant (1999) both had 13 receptions against Tech.

  • Tech led 14-7 at the half and eventually lost, 35-21. Since the start of the 1993 season, Tech is now 84-8 when leading at the half. The last time Tech dropped a game when leading at the break was last year, when Tech led Syracuse 14-12 at the half and lost 50-42 in triple overtime.

  • The loss snaps a 22-game regular-season non-conference winning streak for Virginia Tech. The last loss was a 36-32 setback to Virginia to end the 1998 regular season.

  • Virginia Tech (8-4) has recorded eight wins in each of the last six seasons and 10 out of the past 11 seasons. The only year Tech didn't reach eight wins was in 1997, a 7-5 year.

  • Virginia Tech is finished with its regular season and now awaits its bowl destination. No announcement time or date has been set. With the bowl invite, Tech will become one of just seven schools to have gone to 11-straight bowl games. The others are Florida, Florida State, Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska and Tennessee.

  • Charlottesville, Va. - UVa scored on every possession of the second half except for the final one when they were running out the clock as the Cavaliers overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to knock off the Virginia Tech Hokies 35-21 in front 60,943 fans at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.

    Virginia finished the regular season 7-5 and beat the Hokies for the first time since rallying from a 22-point deficit to win in 1998 in Blacksburg. The loss snapped the Hokies' four-game winning streak over the Cavaliers as Tech finished the regular season 8-4 overall, having lost four of its final six games after a 6-0 start.

    "I give Virginia credit. They played good, and we're just in a situation where we're not doing the things it takes to win football games," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "We're not in a good rhythm right now. The reasons or causes as to why we're not in a rhythm is what we've got to look at.

    "We're going to start right now. We'll look at the video and study the last four games to see if we can find a central theme. I'm not looking to find blame. I'm looking to find reasons."

    The Hokies led 14-7 at halftime, but their defense fell totally apart in the second half.

    UVa tied the game at 14 on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Schaub to tailback Wali Lundy with 9:24 left in the third quarter. And the Cavaliers parlayed a Tech turnover into another score to take a 21-14 lead when Schaub hit Alvin Pearman for a 49-yard touchdown with 5:21 left in the third.

    The big play on that drive, though, came on fourth-and-3 from the UVa 27. Tech blocked the punt of punter Tom Hagan and Eric Green picked up the loose ball and scored. But Tech's Vinnie Fuller was flagged for being offsides on the play, negating the touchdown and giving UVa a first down - and the Cavaliers went on to score on the pass play to Pearman.

    "That's kind of the way it's going for us," Green said. "Even when we do something right, something is holding us back."

    UVa took a 28-14 lead on a 1-yard run by Lundy with 14:57 left in the game.

    The Hokies, though, tried to get back into the game. After Lundy's score, Tech marched 91 yards in 18 plays, cutting the lead to 28-21 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Kevin Jones with 6:59 left to go.

    But the Hokies simply couldn't stop the Cavaliers. UVa drove to the Tech 29 on the ensuing possession, and a beautifully executed fake field goal on fourth down - one where Schaub hit tight end Heath Miller for a 10 yards on fourth-and-7 - gave the Cavaliers a first down at the Tech 19. On the next play, Lundy went around the right side for a touchdown to account for the final margin.

    Lundy ended up rushing for 89 yards on 24 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also caught three passes, including one for a touchdown giving him four scores on the day.

    Schaub, playing in his last home game, shredded Tech, completing 32-of-46 for 358 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Miller caught 13 passes from his tight end position - the second-highest total in ACC history - for 145 yards.

    UVa finished with 263 yards of total offense in the second half alone and 468 for the game.

    "You've got to be consistent on every play," Beamer said of his defense. "You can't have three good plays and then have a mental error or a mis-tackle. You've got be consistent on every play and we're just not doing that now. That's not the Virginia Tech defense we've been accustomed to playing around here."

    Bryan Randall played well for the Hokies, completing 14-of-26 for 214 yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions - though one wasn't his fault. He was also victimized by Tech's receivers dropping the ball as the Hokies dropped at least four passes.

    Tech tailback Kevin Jones rushed for 75 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns.

    Both teams now await their bowl destinations, which hinge on the results of Saturday night's Pittsburgh-Miami game. If Pittsburgh wins, the Hokies appear likely headed for Charlotte and the Continental Tire Bowl, with UVa heading to the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho. If Miami wins, Tech probably will go to the Insight Bowl in Phoenix and UVa will head to the Continental Tire Bowl.