Sunday, November 25, 2012

(W) Virginia Tech vs. UVA

"The Hokies are going to a bowl game after Saturday’s 17-14 win against rival Virginia, which extended Tech’s winning streak in the series to a record nine games. The win also moved Beamer into a tie for sixth-place on the all-time career victories list among Football Bowl Subdivision coaches."
Placekicker Cody Journell kicked a 29-yarder with 4 seconds to play, and the Hokies beat their in-state rival 17-14 Saturday, a victory that qualifies them for a bowl game for the 20th consecutive season and was their ninth straight against the Cavaliers.

"On the second one, I just tried to push it through the wind," Journell said.

Cornerback Antone Exum set up the winning drive when he intercepted Michael Rocco at the Cavaliers' 36 with 3:21 remaining. Exum brought it back to the 24, and Virginia (4-8, 2-6) inexplicably held on to two timeouts as the Hokies ran the clock down and positioned the ball. The Cavaliers used both timeouts to try to freeze Journell, but to no avail.

Rocco finished 14 for 29 for 177 yards and was sacked twice. Virginia managed just 30 rushing yards.

Logan Thomas ran for one touchdown and threw for another for the Hokies (6-6, 4-4 ACC), who have also won 13 of the last 14 in taking command of a once-close rivalry. Thomas carried the ball 29 times for 89 yards, and at times seemed to be using all of his 6-foot-6, 260-pound body to be as punishing as he could to would-be tacklers.

"I always try to run the ball that way. We weren't moving the ball the way we wanted, and we're frustrated," he said. "I think they started getting worn down. They were in a fight, and we just kept bringing it to them all game long."

The Hokies finished off the victory that ensures they will extend their streak of seasons ending in a bowl game to 20, third longest in the nation behind Florida State (31) and Florida (22).

The ACC’s bowl pecking order after the Orange and Chick-fil-A bowls is Russell Athletic (Orlando, Big East No. 2), Sun (El Paso, vs. Pac-12 No. 4), Belk (Charlotte, vs. Big East No. 3) and Music City (Nashville, vs. SEC No. 7).

Game Notes:
  • Tech’s 95 plays were the third-most it has ever run in a game. The Hokies ran 98 in a game against Cincinnati in 1985 and 96 in a game against Wake Forest in 1975. They also ran 95 plays against South Carolina in 1972.
  • Tech had a 37:30 to 22:30 advantage in time of possession.
  • Thomas now has 20 career rushing touchdowns, one behind Bob Schweickert for second on Tech’s all-time list for a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor is No. 1 with 23.
  • A.J. Hughes punted a career high nine times, averaging 39.1 yards. He only punted once in the second half, though.
  • Demitri Knowles and Marcus Davis tied for the team lead with four catches for 33 yards apiece.
  • Exum had a big day. He also stripped the ball loose from UVa running back Perry Jones in the first quarter and recovered the fumble. He finished with five tackles, a TFL, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.
  • Tech only notched two sacks, but it pressured UVa’s quarterbacks throughout, particularly in the fourth quarter. The Hokies have 24 sacks in the last six games.
  • Bonner led the team with 10 tackles, adding two pass breakups. Tyler was next with nine stops.

Roanoke Times:
After Saturday's performance, Marcus Davis is only 71 yards shy of Andre Davis' single-season school record 962 receiving yards. Marcus Davis has team highs with 47 catches for 891 yards and five touchdowns this year.

Virginia Tech is one of six established Football Bowl Subdivision teams never to have a 1,000-yard receiver, joining Army, Navy, Nebraska, South Florida and Temple.

"But when asked how this team differed from the one that rebounded after starting 0-2 in 2010, the redshirt senior was reminded of a practice tirade by former cornerback Rashad Carmichael following Virginia Tech’s shocking loss to James Madison. Davis believes one of the main reasons these Hokies have struggled is due to the lack of a leader like that."

More information:
» Five Thoughts About the Hokies' Season
» Jack Tyler, James Gayle and Antone Exum earned second team All-ACC honors

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