Game-Winning Field Goal Sends Hokies To 9th Straight Win Over UVA
Cody Journell hit a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give Virginia Tech a 17-14 win over Virginia Saturday in Blacksburg.
The Cavaliers have lost nine straight games against their biggest rival.
Head coach Mike London says, "The streak is what it is, and people will continue to talk about it, but that gap has been narrowed, in recruiting. They've won on the field, but the gap is closing."
The game was tied at 14 with under 4 minutes to play, when Journell missed a 42-yard field goal which would have given the Hokies the lead.
Virginia would give the ball right back three plays later, as Antone Exum intercepted a Michael Rocco pass intended for Tim Smith, and led to the game-winning field goal.
"Yeah, definitely, there's no doubt in my mind I was interfered with," says Smith. "I'll go and watch it as soon as we get on the bus, but you're not going to get every call, especially in a game like this. They didn't call it, and the guy intercepted it, which led to them winning. You just got to roll with the punches."
Rocco says, "I'm not Tim, so I'm not sure if it was pass interference or not. It was really close coverage, and I didn't throw it out far enough, and the guy undercut it after Tim broke. It wasn't a good enough throw."
Journell says, "The coaches had my back. The way this season has been going, I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. Be being in the position to put us in a bowl game again feels great."
"I knew inside he was going to come through," says Virginia Tech senior running back Martin Scales.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) is bowl eligible after winning the Commonwealth Cup for the 13th time in the last 14 years.
Virginia Tech junior quarterback Logan Thomas says, "We don't want to be those guys. We don't want to be the team that doesn't makes the bowl. We don't want to be the team that breaks the streak against UVA. That's the way we had to approach this game, give it everything we got. The defense played one heck of a game, other than one miscue, and they kept our offense in the game."
UVA senior linebacker LaRoy Reynolds had 15 tackles in the game.
"Four years in a row, it's unfortunate," says Reynolds. "But we played a tremendous game, defensively. I won't walk out of here with my head down, because I know for a fact, we dominated defensively. You can ask the guys in the other locker room, I feel like they know, as coach Reid says, we came out, and we executed the plan."
The Cavaliers took a 14-7 lead in the 3rd quarter, as freshman Eli Harold sacked Thomas, causing a fumble, which Brent Urban returned 16 yards for a touchdown.
UVA failed on a fake field goal attempt later in the 3rd quarter, and the Hokies answered with a 15-play, 85-yard drive, capped off by a Thomas rushing TD to tie the score at 14-14.
The junior QB led Va Tech with 29 carries for 117 yards rushing.
The game was tied 7-7 at halftime, after Thomas found Randall Dunn for a 7-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter, and Rocco connected with Smith on a 42-yard catch and run.
UVA finishes the season with a record of 4-8 overall, and 2-6 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech is going to a bowl game for the 20th year in a row.
Head coach Frank Beamer says, "We overcame some real frustration and so forth. I'm proud of these guys. It's been a rugged year in some ways, but I'm really proud of what we've made out of it."
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