A valiant effort fell short on the road as the Virginia Cavaliers fell 30-27 to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in overtime Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Virginia tied the game up at 27 at the end of regulation thanks to a 32-yard field goal from Brian Delaney, but he was unable to convert to tie in overtime. It was Virginia’s first overtime game since a triple overtime win over Syracuse in 2015.
Considering the depleted defensive line, the Virginia defense held strong for the majority of the game as they dealt with the wear and tear of GT’s triple option offense. The Jackets amassed 305 yards overall—all but 37 of which came on the ground—as the Hoos fell to 7-4 on the season with a trip to Virginia Tech on the horizon.
Virginia out-gained the Jackets with 403 yards in the game, and got 24 first downs to GT’s 13. One big play—a questionably called turnover on a punt return—gave Georgia Tech a pivotal extra possession, and the Hoos were playing catch up for the rest of the half. The game featured eight lead changes and two ties as the two Coastal squads battled on the field.
Perkins went 21-for-26 for 217 yards and a touchdown pass, and added another 73 yards and a touchdown with his legs. There was a scary moment in the first quarter as the superstar quarterback left the game with a lower leg injury, but he missed just one series and came back with a vengeance for a solid game.
TaQuon Marshall went 1-for-8 for 37 yards passing for Georgia Tech, but rushed for a team-high 107 yards. Three other Yellow Jackets had three other players rush for at least 30 yards.
Georgia Tech went 65 yards on their first drive, needing just eight plays. The Cavalier defense stood tall at the goal line, holding the Yellow Jackets to a field goal after they drove to the Virginia 13-yard line.
On Virginia’s first possession of the game, the offense was clicking as they drove 74 yards on eight plays. The Hoos picked up four first downs on the drive and never faced anything longer than 2nd-and-1. Perkins went a perfect 4-for-4 for 41 yards and added 30 yards on the ground as the Hoos took a 7-3 lead after a 16-yard touchdown catch from Hasise Dubois.
Virginia held Georgia Tech to a three-and-out on their next possession, but the Yellow Jacket punter pinned the Cavaliers at their own 1-yard line. After narrowly escaping a sack in the end zone on first down, GT got to him on second down for the safety. Worse than giving up the points, Perkins hurt his knee on the play. Perkins had to leave the game, and adding insult to injury, Georgia Tech returned the free kick for a touchdown. Paul Johnson elected to go for two, putting the Yellow Jackets up 13-7.
Armstrong came in for the injured Perkins and handled himself well. Facing 3rd-and-9, Armstrong rushed up the middle for 11 yards and a first down. Three plays later, he connected with Joe Red, who shook his defender and turned what was about a four yard reception into a 56 yard touchdown and a 14-13 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Georgia Tech needed 13 plays to go 65 yards before settling for a 28-yard field goal to go ahead 16-14. Qua Searcy picked up 33 yards to eat up a huge chunk of that 65 yards, but the defense held strong to keep the Yellow Jackets out of the end zone.
Much to everyone’s surprise (and relief), Perkins re-entered the game for Virginia’s next drive. He went 5-for-5 as the Hoos motored 77 yards and ate up 5:44 of game clock. Much like the first drive, Virginia picked up four first downs and didn’t face a single third down as the offense cruised. Perkins capped off the drive with a scamper into the end zone from nine yards out for the touchdown.
Georgia Tech was unable to get anything going on their next drive, punting back to the Hoos after a three-and-out and just 1:26 off the clock. Virginia took the safe route and just ran the ball and the clock to take a 21-16 lead into the locker room at the half.
Perkins was a perfect 9-for-9 for 95 yards and a touchdown in the air, and added another 49 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the first half. The Hoos out-gained the Yellow Jackets 237-156, and didn’t allow a touchdown from the GT offense in the first half. Virginia faced just two third downs in the first half (both while Armstrong was under center), going a perfect 2-for-2.
TaQuon Marshall attempted four passes in the first half, but missed on all of them. He did rush for a team-high 63 yards, with three other Jackets rushing for at least 20 yards. Georgia Tech picked up an averaged of 5.6 yards per play, but Virginia did slightly better with 8.7 yards per play.
Virginia’s first offensive drive was nothing to write home about, and Georgia Tech was cruising thanks to another big run—this time from Marshall. On 3rd-and-7 from the UVA 25, the defense stopped Tobias Oliver one yard short of the line to gain. Paul Johnson decided to go for it, but Chris Peace and Robert Synder had other plans as they stuffed Oliver for no gain on fourth down.
The ensuing possession for the Hoos was an abject disaster as a holding penalty and a sack set up 3rd-and-32 from their own 21-yard line. Olamide Zaccheaus picked up a respectable 17 yards to set up a 47-yard punt from Lester Coleman to set Georgia Tech up at their own 15-yard line. Virginia’s defense forced another three-and-out, but on the GT punt, the ball appeared to have careened off of Darius Bratton’s leg. The referees awarded the ball to Georgia Tech at the Virginia 41-yard line, and after a review, couldn’t find enough video evidence to overturn.
Georgia Tech would take advantage of the lucky bounce, going 41 yards and scoring a touchdown as they burned another 5:41 off the clock. The Jackets went for—and converted—the two point conversion to take a 24-21 lead with 12:30 left in the game. Georgia Tech rushed the ball on all 11 plays of the drive, with Jerry Howard being credited with the touchdown.
Virginia tied the game up on the next drive, settling for a field goal instead of trying for it on 4th-and-1. Offensive Coordinator decided to try a pass to the end zone on 3rd-and-1 from the GT 13-yard line, but the pass sailed over Joe Reed’s head. The Yellow Jackets got the ball back with 4:31 left in the game, and the Cavalier defense set up a 3rd-and-6 deep in GT’s territory. Marshall completed his first pass of the game at the most important moment as Brad Stewart laid out for a 37-yard reception. Marshall’s seventh pass attempt of the game sailed high, setting up a 48-yard attempt that Wesley Wills drilled dead center for the 27-24 lead with 1:04 to play.
Reed returned the ball to the 34 yard line, setting up one last ditch effort to try and tie or take the lead. Perkins rushed for a first down on the first play from scrimmage, then connected with Terrell Jana, Zaccheaus, and Jana again for pickups of seven, 15, and 10 yards, respectively. All three passes led to first downs for the Hoos, and Perkins scampered for a first down at the GT 9-yard line. Perkins tried to get sneaky for a fake spike, but couldn’t connect with Dubois in the corner of the end zone with five seconds left. Delaney converted the kick from 32 yards out (the first made kick was from 27 yards, but was called back for a false start) to tie the score at 27 with one second left in the game. GT downed the ball on the ensuing kickoff to run out the clock and send the game to overtime.
Georgia Tech got the ball first in overtime, and settled for a field goal thanks to outstanding coverage from Bryce Hall. They made the field goal, taking a 30-27 lead. Virginia had to attempt a kick to tie the game, but Delaney was kicking from the right hash where he has been unsuccessful. It looked as though Virginia false-started again, but no flag was thrown.
Virginia stays on the road to try and end the streak against Virginia Tech as the face the Hokies in Blacksburg on Friday at 3:30pm.