George Tech suffered their third tough ACC loss Saturday as the Virginia Cavaliers roared back from a 20-7 halftime deficit to eke out a 39-38 victory in Charlottesville.
Tech, which came into the game with the 13th-ranked scoring defense in the nation, surrendered 32 second half points including a 100-yard kickoff return and a trick play lateral-after-the-catch that went for 37 yards and a touchdown. "I'm disappointed in some of the players -- defensive players," a dejected George O'Leary said after the game. "If you're supposed to be good on defense, then you have to step up and make plays." In that regard the game was eerily similar to the Clemson loss, as the Jackets once again fell short in a seesaw game that lacked that one big defensive play that could have secured a victory.
George Godsey, leading a Tech offense missing lead receiver Kelly Campbell, completed 39 of 55 passes for 486 yards and one TD. Will Glover, Godsey's high school teammate from Tampa Jesuit, had a career best 13 catches for 172 yards. Kerry Watkins had nine catches for 161 yards and Jonathan Smith caught eight balls for 89 yards.
The Tech offense retook the lead three times in the fourth quarter, an admirable accomplishment despite the loss....Luke Manget kicked two first half field goals, including a 51 yarder....Tech's defense did deny Virginia on three two-point conversions in the second half.The Bad:
Tech's defensive performance in the second half is going to get a lot of attention as the coaches break down film. Some positions may be up for grabs by Monday....Bryson Spinner has now obviously begun to grasp Bill Musgrave's pro offense and will be a player to be reckoned with from here on out. He passed for 327 yards and rushed for 72 more(ten carries)and frankly picked the Jackets apart in the second half....The Jackets committed 11 penalties for 86 yards, always a painful stat to look at in a close loss.... The Jackets played erratically on special teams after a superior performance against North Carolina. Besides the 100-yard TD return in the fourth quarter, Manget also kicked off out of bounds after Tech scored their last TD, enabling UVA to start their winning drive on the 35 yard line.
The Jackets failed to convert two-point conversions on all three fourth quarter TDs. Each conversion, if successful, would have given the Jackets an eight point lead. Tech might just have the poorest two point conversion ratio in the nation. It's been a very ugly year in that area.