Scott German: ‘Hoos get big win on Tobacco Road

uva footballSomehow, someway, tonight on Tobacco Road, the Virginia Cavaliers gutted out a tremendous 38-31 win over the North Carolina here at Keenan Stadium.

The win puts the Cavaliers in sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division.

On a night when Virginia’s quarterback Bryce Perkins was spectacular, it was a surprisingly challenged UVA defense that stopped UNC on its final two possessions to seal the win.

Perkins finished the game 30-for-39 for 378 yards passing and added 112 yards rushing, while wide receiver Terrell Jana collected 13 receptions for 146 yards.

It was a big night for the UNC offense as well. Wide receiver Dyami Brown had 16 receptions for a whopping 202 yards.

Perhaps the biggest, or certainly the most electrifying, play of the night was on the legs of Perkins.

Locked at 17-all at the half. Virginia started the third quarter at their own 25 after a touchback on the Carolina kickoff.

After picking up a first down on a pass play, Perkins, from the shotgun, first ran up the middle, eluded an initial contact by UNC’s tackle Jason Strowbridge, then went left, breaking another tackle, and the Virginia speedster signal-caller got on the outside and tight-roped the sidelines to the end zone.

The scoring run put the Cavaliers up 24-17 before the UNC faithful of over 55,000 was settled back into their baby-blue seats.

The game was anything but over, as both teams turned Keenan Stadium into Dodge City.

UNC, as expected, took full advantage of a depleted UVA secondary. For the night, Carolina quarterback Sam Howell amassed 353 yards passing on just 15 completions. Most were gained in huge chunks to Brown.

But in the end, it was Virginia’s defense that bent, but did not break. Late in the game, UNC moved to the Virginia 6 yard line, but was turned away when Howell’s fourth-down pass sailed high, harmlessly out-of-bounds.

After the Cavaliers quickly turned the ball back over to the Tar Heels, the defense made a final stop. Howell, on fourth down, was hurried and threw short to turn the ball over to Virginia with just 53 seconds left.

Virginia ran out the clock, and in the process keep it’s clock ticking on an ACC Coastal championship.

The Cavaliers, now 4-2 in the Coastal 6-3 overall host Georgia Tech next Saturday.

Story by Scott German


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