The Streak Is Over! UVA rallies, beats Tech, headed to ACC Championship
Virginia rallied from a touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter, getting a 48-yard field goal from Brian Delaney with 1:23 to go to take the lead, and an Eli Hanback fumble recovery in the end zone sealed a 39-30 win over #24 Virginia Tech on Black Friday.
The ‘Hoos (9-3, 6-2 ACC) are now headed to their first ACC Championship Game. UVA will face Clemson (11-0, 8-0 ACC) in Charlotte next Saturday night.
It took ending the 15-year losing streak to Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3 ACC) to get there.
Virginia seemed to be in control in the first half, bolting to a 13-3 lead on a pair of long touchdown runs by Bryce Perkins, but the Hokies closed to 13-6 at the half on a short Brian Johnson field goal.
Tech seemed to seize control for good in the third quarter, scoring touchdowns on each of its three drives while gaining 224 yards total offense, in turning that halftime deficit into a 27-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
UVA knotted the score at 27-27 on a 2-yard TD run by Wayne Taulapapa with 13:30 to go.
The Hokies drove into UVA territory on their next possession, and took a 30-27 lead at the 10:58 mark on a 47-yard Johnson field goal.
Perkins connected with Hasise Dubois on a 67-yard pass play on the first play of Virginia’s next drive, setting up a 25-yard Delaney field goal that tied the game again, at 30-30, with 7:35 to go.
Noah Taylor intercepted a Hendon Hooker pass to snuff out Tech’s next drive, and Virginia turned that turnover into points, on the long field goal by Delaney.
VIrginia Tech had one more chance, but the UVA defense sacked him on each of the Hokies’ three snaps, with Mandy Alonso getting to Hooker in the end zone, forcing a fumble that Hanback would fall on to clinch the victory.
Perkins, who said after the game that he spent a night in the hospital with tonsillitis after Virginia’s 55-27 win over Liberty, and then had a procedure on Monday to remove fluid from his tonsils, had a career game, throwing for 311 yards and a touchdown, and running for 164 yards and two scores on the ground.
Dubois had 139 yards on four catches for Virginia, which outgained the Hokies 492-483.
Story by Chris Graham