In Charlottesville, VA two old rivals finished up their regular seasons. Virginia Tech came to town with a 5-6 record and looking to extend their nation leading 22 consecutive bowl streak. The University of Virginia was trying to spoil Frank Beamer's farewell, and entered the contest with a 4-7 mark. Mike London, the Virginia coach, has been on the proverbial hot seat seemingly all season. The Hokies were listed as a 3 1/2 point favorite, but with rivalry games anything can happen. Beyond trying to send Beamer off the right way, the Hokies were also looking to retain the Commonwealth Cup another year.
The Hokies got the opening kick and the game was on. The Hokies drove the ball pretty well on their first possession, Bucky Hodges had a couple of nice gainers, but the drive stalled. Joey Slye boomed a 48 yard field goal for the game's first points, VT 3 UVA 0. Virginia put together a nice drive on its first try, put penalties eventually bogged down their efforts. The 'Hoos settled for a 42 yard Ian Frye field goal, VT 3 UVA 3. Both defenses stepped up and the two teams traded punts. In the second quarter, the game started getting a bit chippy. Greg Stroman hit UVA QB Matt Johns near the sideline, and the referees had to separate the clubs. Coach Mike London went absolutely ballistic over the no call. The teams exchanged punts again, and UVA put together a solid drive. Matt Johns had some key runs to put the Wahoos in field goal range. Ian Frye hit another 42 yarder, and with 4:24 left in the first half it was UVA 6 VT 3.
The Cavalier defense kept getting excellent pressure on Tech QB Michael Brewer, and the Hokies couldn't do much all half. The 'Hoos tried a risky fake punt in their own territory, and didn't convert setting the Hokies up with great field position. The offense got it to field goal range, and Joey Slye banged home a tying 44 yard field goal, VT 6 UVA 6. UVA didn't take any chances with less than a minute left, and the game went to halftime tied.
The first half stats looked like this:
|Virginia Tech Hokies||Virginia Cavaliers|
|3rd Down Efficiency||1-7||4-9|
|4th Down Efficiency||0-0||0-1|
The second half started with the Cavaliers getting the ball. They punted, we punted. Not a lot of offense at all in this ballgame. Adonis Alexander had a terrific interception, but that was the real excitement in the third quarter. Michael Brewer returned the favor with a pick of his own, and UVA had a great scoring opportunity. Ian Frye missed a 45 yard attempt, and the game remained tied 6-6 with 4:27 left in the third quarter.
The game truly looked like a stalemate, then things got interesting. Reports began surfacing that Justin Fuente was going to be named head coach. Bud Foster was staying. The internet literally blew up. The football game was still going on, and right on cue, Virginia running back Albert Reid broke a 57 yard touchdown to take a 13-6 lead. Brewer and company responded by hitting Ryan Malleck for a 70 yard gainer!. The Hokies were in the red zone threatening to tie.
The Hokies had it first and goal on the 7, as we entered the fourth quarter! Brewer found Sam Rogers on a play action pass for the tying score VT 13 UVA 13. UVA responded quickly with some clutch passing from Matt Johns, and found Canaan Severin on a 27 yard TD strike. With 10:04 left in the game the Cavs took the lead, UVA 20 VT 13. It was a great response drive from the Wahoos, and the Hokies were running out of time. That's when Brewer and Isaiah Ford decided to show out. It culminated with a gorgeous 32 yard bomb, and we were tied again, VT 20 UVA 20.
With 8:40 left in the game, the Cavaliers got the ball back and the Hokies defense held strong forcing the punt. The Hokies drove it down and Joey Slye delivered once again. he hit from 41 and the Hokies had a 23-20 lead with 1:38 left. UVA had 80 yards to go and two timeouts. Ken Ekanem had a sack that forced a fumble, but UVA recovered. That would have sealed it for Beamer. With the new life the UVA drive continued. Chuck Clark removed all doubt with an interception, and the streak lived! Final score from Charlottesville VT 23 UVA 20!!!!