For the twelfth consecutive season, the Virginia Cavaliers lost to Virginia Tech. Despite playing a close game from start to finish, the Hokies struck last, kicking a 41-yard FG with 1:38 remaining to win the game 23-20. UVA finishes the season 4-8, as we await word about Mike London's status.
The loss comes despite a strong effort from the Virginia defense for much of the game, and a couple clutch offensive touchdown drives too. But UVA couldn't muster the scoring early to get any distance from the Hokies, and the defense gave up big plays when they mattered most.
Despite the final score, much of the game was a defensive struggle, as UVA's defensive line had success pressuring VT quarterback Michael Brewer. However, the Hoos failed to capitalize, ending two drives on the door step of the red zone with field goals.
During a key stretch before halftime, the Virginia Cavaliers were forced into a 4th and 16 after a pair of false start penalties. From its own 34 yard line, the team attempted a fake punt; though drawn up well, sixteen yards was a couple too many to ask for, as Nick Conte was caught from behind. The Hokies turned their field position into a game-tying field goal, sending the teams into the locker room with the game tied 6-6.
After UVA and VT started the third quarter combining for 7 punts, 2 interceptions, and an Ian Frye missed field goal, Virginia finally broke through when Albert Reid broke a 57-yard run to put the Hoos up 13-6. However, the score was the first of 4 consecutive touchdown drives. Brewer found TE Ryan Malleck over the middle, and a missed tackle sprung him all the way to the UVA 5-yard line. On the first play of the fourth quarter, VT tied the game.
UVA responded with a 90-yard drive, the team's second-longest of the year, culminating in a 27-yard strike from Johns to Canaan Severin. But six plays later (two of which went for over 30 yards), Tech had tied it again. After a stellar first half, UVA couldn't pressure the quarterback, and that exposed the secondary, who managed to continually blow coverage and miss tackles.
With the game tied at 20, the Hokies had one last scoring drive in them, moving the ball to UVA's 24-yard line and kicking the game-winner. Matt Johns quickly threw his second interception to continue a painful streak and extend Mike London's record against the Hokies to 0-6.
The loss is especially frustrating because UVA outplayed the Hokies for much of the game. The Hoos outgained them 433-304, had 21 first downs to Tech's 12, and kept the Hokies to three third-down conversion in 14 attempts. The past few matchups between these two teams haven't featured any large talent disparities. But once again, Virginia Tech made big plays when they needed them late in the game, while UVA just couldn't get it done (and was hurt by 9 penalties for 65 yards as well).
Losing to Virginia Tech is the worst. It's frustrating for fans, but many times more so for the players who work their tails off every week to try to win games like this one. However disappointing this game, this season, and the last few seasons have been, the seniors deserve a big thank you from us for all they do.
News about Mike London's job status should come soon. Stay tuned to StreakingTheLawn.com for more.