Virginia Tech 31, Virginia 17
November 17, 2001
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
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Charlottesville, VA - It was a tale of two halves, and in the end, Virginia Tech's first half beat UVa's second half, and the Hokies won 31-17 in Scott Stadium. The Hokies shot out to a 31-0 half time lead and watched much of it evaporate in the second half, but then put the clamps on Virginia in the last ten minutes to preserve the two-touchdown win.
It was a tale of two halves in more ways than one. In the first half, Tech's Andre Davis had 3 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns, and in the second half, freshman sensation Kevin Jones rushed the ball 19 times for 93 yards, including 73 yards in the fourth quarter. For the game, Jones carried the ball 37 times for 181 yards and a touchdown, further cementing his lead on the starting tailback position.
The Hokies had 241 yards on 55 carries and held Virginia to just 8 yards on 28 carries. Virginia's rushing total included 79 yards lost rushing, 57 of it coming on 6 Tech sacks. Antwoine Womack had 12 carries for 36 yards for Virginia, with 23 of those yards coming on a first quarter run.
The Hokies converted four first-half turnovers by the Cavaliers into 24 points to spark them to the 31-0 half time lead. The Hokies turned a Bryson Spinner fumble deep in Virginia territory into a 17-yard TD pass from Grant Noel to fullback Jarrett Ferguson for their first score. They added a field goal when Virginia fumbled a kickoff, and then converted a Spinner interception into a 92-yard TD drive. That staked the Hokies to a 17-0 lead, and later, after the Hokies had added another TD, UVa fumbled a punt, and the Hokies scored again to push their lead to 31-0.
"I was proud of our team," Frank Beamer said in the post-game press conference. "The way we came in here and played the first half was exceptional."
The Hokies had two turnovers early in the second half, though, and with the Tech offense sputtering through a 35-yard third quarter, Virginia clawed their way back into the game with a 17-0 run. It was 31-17, Hokies with just under eleven minutes go to, and the Hokies were pinned on their 8-yard line after the kickoff.
But Tech responded with a 9-play, 50-yard drive that ate up five minutes off the clock. The drive featured six straight runs for a total of 46 yards by Jones, and the Hokies regained control and the field position advantage. They were able to run out the clock without being threatened again by the Cavaliers.
"I can't say enough about my football team," Beamer said. "When things got rough (in the fourth quarter), the offense took the ball over at about the 10 yard line and picked up four or five first downs. I thought that made a statement about our football team. We needed time off the clock and that offensive team stepped up to the plate."
The Hokies blitzed relentlessly throughout the game and totaled 6 sacks for 57 yards in losses. Six Hokie players had one sack each.
After shutting down Virginia on the Cavaliers' first drive, the Hokies missed a golden opportunity to score when Carter Warley's 33-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Hokies had started the drive at the Virginia 45 yard line, and it was kept alive when Virginia interfered with Andre Davis on a pass in the end zone.
On Virginia's second possession, Ben Taylor blitzed and knocked the ball from Virginia QB Bryson Spinner's hand. The Hokies recovered at the Virginia 18 yard line. Two plays later, Grant Noel hit fullback Jarrett Ferguson in the left-hand side of the end zone for a 17-yard TD.
On the ensuing kickoff, Virginia's Tavon Mason fumbled, and Tech's Chad Cooper recovered at the 22-yard line of the Cavaliers. The Hokies picked up a first down at the Virginia 11 and then kicked a 27-yard field goal when the drive stalled. It was 10-0, Hokies.
Behind the running of Antwoine Womack, the Cavaliers drove deep into Tech territory, but Spinner threw an interception to Willie Pile at the Hokie 8 yard line that ended the threat. On the play, Spinner was pressure by Nathaniel Adibi, but he escaped, only to throw the interception.
The Hokies struck back quickly, going 92 yards in just 6 plays, and taking just 3:06 off the clock. The drive was highlighted by a 42-yard pass from Noel to Andre Davis on third and 4 from the Tech 30, and one play later, Noel hit a diving Davis in the end zone for a 26-yard score that made it 17-0, Hokies.
Early in the second quarter, after the blitzing Hokies forced another UVa punt, Noel hit Davis in stride on a deep out on third and 5 from the Hokie 42. Davis caught the perfectly-thrown ball on the Virginia sideline and turned it upfield, outrunning the Virginia secondary for a 58-yard TD.
The Hokies punched in another touchdown when Kevin Jones dove over the top from one yard out to make it 31-0 with 4:38 to go before half time. The touchdown came after yet another Virginia miscue, when freshman Alvin Pearman fumbled a punt on the UVa 15 yard line. It took the Hokies five running plays to get in the end zone on Jones' leap.
At halftime, the Hokies had outgained Virginia 294-76 and led the time of possession battle 19:06-10:54. Noel was 9-15 for 173 yards and 3 TD's in the first half, and Jones had 88 yards on 18 carries, for a 4.9 yards-per-carry average. The Hokies scored 24 points off of Virginia's four first-half turnovers (3 fumbles, 1 interception).
The second half started off with more excitement than you might expect in a 31-point blowout. The Hokies opened the half with possession but turned it over on a fumble by Jones on a toss sweep. Almondo "Muffin" Curry recovered for Virginia on the Tech 34 yard line. He ran the ball into the end zone but was called down at the 34 because his knee touched the ground.
The Cavaliers drove inside the Tech ten yard line and had a first down at the 9, but on second and goal from the 14, Pile cut in front of a Matt Shaub pass at the goal line, picked it off for his second interception of the game, and ran it back to the Virginia 46.
Noel turned it right back over on the next play, throwing an interception on the Virginia 31, the third turnover for the two teams in the first four minutes of the half. The Cavaliers drove 69 yards in just over 3 minutes and made it 31-7 on Schaub's keeper from the 2 yard line.
The Hokies were unable to mount a drive on their next possession, and UVa took over on their own 49 with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter. On fourth and 2 from the Tech 43, Kevin McCadam and Ben Taylor swallowed up Womack on the option for a four-yard loss, and the Hokies took over on their 48. Facing a fourth and 1 from the Virginia 43, Noel collided with the fullback and fumbled the ball. Noel recovered, but it was short of the first down.
The Cavaliers moved quickly, hitting Pearman out of the backfield down to the Hokie 17 yard line. On third and 11 from the 18, the Hokies blitzed, and Schaub's pass fell incomplete in the end zone. David Greene came on to boot a 35-yard field goal, making it 31-10 Hokies with 33 seconds to go third quarter.
The Cavaliers outgained the Hokies 111 yards to 35 in the third quarter and had 7 first downs, to just 2 for Tech.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Wahoos took possession on their own 31-yard line and drove effortlessly for the score in just 5 plays and 1:37. Schaub threw two straight passes of 27 and 38 yards to Billy McMullen, the second taking the ball to the Hokie one yard line. After a fruitless running play, Schaub faked a handoff into the line and hit Tyree Foreman for the one-yard touchdown with just under eleven minutes to go.
On the ensuing kickoff, a block in the back penalty on Tech pinned the Hokies at their 8 yard line. With Tech backed up and in dire straights, the Hokies -- and Kevin Jones -- responded.
After a Jarrett Ferguson run took it to the ten, the Hokies climbed on the back of Jones and rode him downfield. Carrying the ball six straight times, Jones took the Hokies to the Virginia 43 yard line. After a Ferguson run made it third and 4 from the Virginia 42, Grant Noel had to throw it away under heavy pressure.
Tech punted into the end zone, and a holding penalty on Virginia gave them possession on their 8 yard line with 5:33 to go in the game. Jim Davis sacked Schaub on the one-yard line on first down, and the Cavaliers eventually had to punt from their 4 yard line. They punted to the Virginia 39-yard line, and the Hokies went on a 7-play, 30-yard drive from there that ran the clock down to 1:30 and ended on the Virginia 10 when Jones was stopped on fourth and 3.
The Cavaliers moved out to the 50, but consecutive sacks by Tech's Cols Colas and Jim Davis ended their last drive.
RUSHING: Virginia Tech-K Jones 37-181, Burnell 9-36, Ferguson 6-25, Noel 2-1. Virginia-Womack 12-36, Pearman 3-7, Foreman 1-1, Spinner 5-(-13), Schaub 7-(-23).
PASSING: Virginia Tech-Noel 12-22-1-190, Team 0-2-0-0. Virginia-Schaub 19-28-1-243, Spinner 2-8-1-18.
RECEIVING: Virginia Tech-And Davis 3-126, Ferguson 3-28, Easlick 2-15, Burnell 2-3, Parham 1-12, Jones 1-6. Virginia - McMullen 7-130, Foreman 4-19, Pearman 3-59, Mason 3-28, Womack 2-10, Luzar 1-13, Anderson 1-2.