UVA escapes Georgia Tech upset bid: Controls Coastal destiny

uva footballGeorgia Tech gained a season-high 372 yards against a banged-up UVA defense, but Bryce Perkins threw for 258 yards, ran for another 106, and the ‘Hoos escaped, 33-28, on Saturday in Scott Stadium.

The win keeps Virginia (7-3, 5-2 ACC) in control of its own fate in the Coastal Division.

The Cavaliers host Virginia Tech on Nov. 29, and a win in that one would send them to their first ACC Championship Game in program history.

It wasn’t an easy road getting there. UVA was a 16.5-point favorite, but it was Georgia Tech that would get on the board first, on a 59-yard TD pass from James Graham to Ahmarean Brown 1:41 into the game.

Virginia answered with a Wayne Taulapapa 2-yard TD run, but Georgia Tech scored again on its second possession, on a Graham 5-yard run, to go up 14-7.

UVA got back into it after a Joey Blount interception and 37-yard return set up the offense with a short field, and a Perkins-to-Joe Reed 9-yard TD pass tied the game at 14-14 with 1:50 left in the first quarter.

A Brian Delaney 24-yard field goal put Virginia on top for the first time. Georgia Tech appeared to be poised to take the lead into the break after scoring on a Graham-to-Malachi Carter 25-yard TD pass that made it 21-17 Yellow Jackets with 44 seconds to go ’til halftime.

A 40-yard Tavares Kelly kickoff return set up Virginia at midfield, and Perkins broke off a 43-yard run on the first play from scrimmage thereafter, setting up a 3-yard Perkins TD run with 11 seconds left that made it 24-21 ‘Hoos at the break.

It would stay there into the fourth quarter, when another Delaney field goal with 13:32 to go pushed the lead to 27-21.

The UVA D forced a three-and-out on Georgia Tech’s next series, and the offense went 50 yards in four plays, capped by a Taulapapa 3-yard run, that made it 33-21 with 10:57 to go.

Georgia Tech went 75 yards on 12 plays, but needed 5:27 to get into the end zone, on an 8-yard Jordan Mason TD run, to get it to 33-28 with 5:30 to go.

UVA ran out the clock by picking up two first downs.

Perkins was 24-for-35 passing for 258 yards and a touchdown, and had 106 yards on 21 carries and another score.

Taulapapa had 37 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Terrell Jana had another big day receiving, hauling in nine passes for 108 yards.

UVA outgained Georgia Tech 413-372, though that total was a season-high for the Yellow Jackets (2-7, 1-5 ACC).

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