Hokies win Coastal division with 33-21 defeat of UVa
Tech gets rematch with Boston College in ACC title game
November 24, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Looking for an ACC title game bid with a slim two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Virginia Tech Hokies scored 10 unanswered points in the final period to clinch the ACC's Coastal division and punch their tickets to Jacksonville, earning a 33-21 win over rival Virginia on Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium. With the triumph, the No. 8 Hokies (10-2, 7-1 ACC) secured a rematch with Boston College in next Saturday's ACC Championship game, which is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Tech also recorded 10 wins for the fourth consecutive season, beat the No. 16 Cavaliers (9-3, 6-2 ACC) for the eighth time in nine tries, and improved to 15-1 in ACC road games since joining the conference four years ago. "We need to give our seniors a lot of credit," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said after the victory. "I think they are the first group to get 10 wins in all four years, and to beat a team like Virginia all four years is an accomplishment, too. The turnovers kind of got us in trouble but you've got to live with those. The big plays kind of got us, but we made some big plays ourselves. "I'm proud of that too," Beamer said of the 15-1 road mark. "I always preach that it doesn't matter where you play, when you play or who you play; we need to play the same way with consistency. I think we have kids who like the challenge of going into a visiting stadium and taking the crowd out of the game." Statistically, Tech tailback Branden Ore broke out with his first 100-yard rushing performance of the season, tallying 147 yards on 31 carries. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor recorded 17 yards on nine carries including two scores, and in the highly successful two-quarterback system for the Hokies, Sean Glennon enjoyed another solid day, completing 13-of-19 for 260 yards and a touchdown. Split end Josh Morgan hauled in four balls for 75 yards, while flanker Josh Hyman caught four for 63. Defensively, Cam Martin registered nine tackles, while Vince Hall, Brandon Flowers, Chris Ellis and Barry Booker each made seven stops. Five of Booker's tackles were for a loss. Virginia Tech opened the game with some trickery after forcing a Virginia punt. On the return, Eddie Royal pitched the ball to Justin Harper on a reverse, and 43 yards later, Harper was out of bounds at the UVa 41 with great field position for the Hokies. An 8-yard run by Branden Ore was sandwiched by a pair of catches by Royal - a 16-yarder from Glennon and an 8-yarder from Taylor - before Taylor took the ball into the end zone from nine yards out to give Tech a 7-0 lead at 12:12 of the first quarter. The Hokies increased their lead to 10-0 on their next possession, when at 5:47 from 20 yards out, Jud Dunlevy hit his first of four field goals on the day to cap a 12-play, 65-yard drive that lasted 5:23. "He's been a big part of our football team," Beamer said of his kicker, who now has 21 field goals on the season, one shy of the school record of 22 held by Shayne Graham and Chris Kinzer. "He's been solid as a rock." The Cavaliers countered on the ensuing drive to cut the margin to three. On third-and-10 from his own 28, UVa quarterback Jameel Sewell connected on back-to-back 22-yard passes - the first to Maurice Covington and the second to Jonathan Stupar - to the move the ball to the Tech 28. After another 1-yard completion to Stupar, tailback Mikell Simpson busted up the middle for a 27-yard touchdown run at 2:37. Chris Gould's PAT made it a 10-7 game. The Hokies didn't waste much time getting Dunlevy back into field goal range, as 1:53 later with 34 seconds on the first-quarter clock, he drilled a 37-yarder to give Tech a 13-7 lead. The drive was keyed by a 56-yard bomb from Glennon to Royal on the opening snap, and was one of six catches for a career-high 147 yards in the contest for the senior flanker. Royal and the Hokies tried to continue their creativity on their first possession of the second quarter, when Royal attempted a pass on another trick play. His pass was under thrown and picked off by UVa's Chris Cook, who returned it to the Tech 48. Seven plays later, Sewell ran it in from eight yards out and Gould hit his PAT to put the Cavaliers on top 14-13 with 6:35 left in the half. The Hokies, however, were able to get the momentum back right before the intermission. Virginia was again threatening in Tech territory when Brandon Flowers jumped Sewell's pass with a diving interception - his fifth of the season - at the Tech 35. After a 26-yard completion from Glennon to Josh Morgan, Royal made up for his miscue by hauling in a 39-yard scoring pass from Glennon with 12 seconds remaining for his third touchdown catch of the year. Dunlevy's PAT gave the Hokies a 20-14 lead at the half. "It was the game plan - we saw a match-up that we liked and we kept going at it," Royal said of his big day. "That's why I came to Virginia Tech - to make plays like that. [On the touchdown], the ball almost knocked me down it was such a good throw. That play was all Sean Glennon." Dunlevy's third trifecta of the game was set up when freshman Davon Morgan blocked a punt from the UVa 38 that the Hokies recovered at the 26. It was just the second blocked kick of the season for the Hokies, with the last one coming from Stephan Virgil on a punt in the Duke game. Dunlevy extended the Tech lead to 23-14 at 7:51 with a 29-yarder. The Cavaliers' final score of the game, like its second, was set up by a Hokie turnover. This time, UVa's Chris Long sacked Glennon and forced a fumble that was picked up by UVa's Antonio Appleby at the Tech 28. Seven plays later, Sewell battled into the end zone from the 2-yard line for his second rushing score of the day. Gould's PAT at 2:51 made the score 23-21 and kept the outcome in doubt heading into the final period. The Hokies erased that doubt, however, with 11:50 remaining when Taylor rushed for his second touchdown of the game to cap an eight-play, 68-yard drive. His designed draw up the middle was denied on third-and-goal from the UVa 5, but the freshman improvised and beat a Cavalier defender in a foot race to the pylon to give Tech a 30-21 advantage. Dunlevy set the final score with a 26-yard field goal at 4:26 to set up Tech's battle with Boston College, which stole an improbable 14-10 victory from the Hokies at Lane Stadium back on Oct. 25th. "Now that we've got 'em, we've got to figure out how to beat 'em," Beamer said of the rematch with the Eagles for all the marbles. "That's a big ballgame for us, but it's the one we worked so hard to get to. Now it's time to take care of business."