It was nothing short of a smack down in Blacksburg this Saturday as the 13th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies trampled the Virginia Cavaliers 37-7. The ‘Hoos were plagued by a lot of the same issues we’ve seen all season long: penalties coming at inopportune times, a defense unable to stop the run, and a momentum-shifting Marc Verica interception.
No streaks were at risk of being broken at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies would continue to win their 7th straight game over the Cavaliers. Virginia would go on to lose their 13th straight November game, dating back to 2007.
The Cavaliers were outgained by Virginia Tech 383-291. Virginia was only able to put up 90 rushing yards – most of which came in the first quarter – as compared to the Hokies’ 201. Virginia, the 106th-ranked rush defense in the country, had kept Virginia Tech, the 18th-ranked rushing offense in the country, to only 37 rushing yards at the half.
Senior quarterback Marc Verica threw an interception to VT’s Eddie Whitley, which set up the ensuing 5-yard touchdown run by Ryan Williams, who would go on to finish the day with two touchdowns on only 7 carries.
Once again, the Cavaliers pulled out the book of trick plays, but this time, was not met with success. Punter Jimmy Howell rolled right to set up the rugby-style punt, a punt that takes a little longer to get off, thereby giving the special teams unit a little longer to set up the play, but the pass to Colter Phillips was caught for only one yard, when the ‘Hoos needed two.
Virginia Tech became the first team to go undefeated in the ACC during regular season play since Florida State pulled off the task in 2000.
For Virginia, it was a rebuilding year from the get-go. A first year head coach. A lack of superstar talent. Injuries throughout the season. The media had predicted the Cavaliers to get 2, possibly 3, wins on the season. Virginia defeated the teams it was supposed to (Richmond, VMI, and Eastern Michigan) and pulled off the upset against then-No. 22 Miami.
This was by no means a great season. But it was a starting point.