Virginia football is back in the winning column. The Cavaliers beat Georgia Tech 27-21 to move to 3-5 on the year behind a great performance by Virginia's defense and ground game.
It wasn't the best of starts, however. The UVA offense did not inspire much confidence in its opening drive. Two false penalties, including one on 3rd-and-1, forced the 'Hoos to punt. However, just like in years past, the Virginia defense stepped up to take the load off. Micah Kiser forced his third fumble of the season, and Will Wahee scooped it up and took it to the 19-yard line. Although the Cavalier offense would march it down to the one-yard line, the 'Hoos could not find the end zone. In the end the Cavs had to settle for a 19-yard field goal.
An opportunity wasted by the Wahoos, and one Georgia Tech made them pay 144 seconds and five plays later. Clinton Lynch found an opening and ran it 49-yards for the score and the 7-3 lead.
It was then the 'Hoos turn to answer. Taquan Mizzell and Canaan Severin led the Wahoos down the field, with Daniel Hamm capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown from the Wildcat,retaking the lead 10-7.
With just over two minutes to go in the second quarter, Matt Johns was intercepted, one play after Charlie Hopkins dropped a pass that could have been close to a first down. On the ensuing drive, Paul Johnson called a timeout facing 3rd-and-8, and orchestrated a well drafted play that caught the Cavs napping. Justin Thomas scrambled to keep the play alive, giving Lynch plenty of time to become wide open. Thomas hit Lynch, who ran to the house untouched for the 30-yard touchdown and the 14-10 lead.
The Virginia defense started the second half with a much needed stop, but the UVA offense's problems in the red zone returned. Olamide Zaccheaus showed tremendous speed and vision with a 34-yard run that put the Cavs on the Georgia Tech one-yard line. On the next play Hamm would punch it in, but the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty. Two incompletions later, and the Cavs were forced to settle for another field goal.
The Virginia defense once again came to the rescue. Trent Corney forced his first fumble of the season, and it was recovered by Kelvin Rainey. This time the Cavs did not waste their opportunity. Matt Johns found Severin for the 30-yard touchdown and the 20-14 lead.
UVA continued to wear the Yellow Jackets down in the second half. The Virginia offense put together a 91-yard scoring drive, the second longest, that was capped off by an Albert Reid 24-yard touchdown. The 'Hoos went up by two scores with 13 minutes to go.
But the Yellow Jackets came back. Georgia Tech went 95-yards in 2:31 all the way to the house. Jackets were now within six and still had time. On the ensuing drive, special teams came up big for Georgia Tech for the second game in a row. The Jackets recovered the onside kick at midfield and had the opportunity to win the game with a touchdown.
The Cavalier defense held on to secure the win.
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