Football vs. Georgia Tech Preview

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Thomas Jones leads the<br>nation in rushing with<br>1273 yards in eight<br>games.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Thomas Jones leads the
nation in rushing with
1273 yards in eight
games.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 1, 1999

Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
Nov. 6, 1999 * 3:30 p.m.
Charlottesville, Va.

The Game: Virginia hosts a top-10 team for the second week in a row as #7 Georgia Tech comes calling. The Cavaliers have lost their last three home games, including two to teams ranked in the top-five, and are now 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. They fell to top-ranked Florida State 35-10 last Saturday.

Tailback Thomas Jones continues to put together some eye-popping performances and leads the nation in rushing at 159.1 ypg. He scooted for 164 yards and a touchdown vs. the Seminoles last week and passed Tiki Barber to become UVa's all-time leading rusher.

The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the ACC this season. They haven't won in Charlottesville since their dramatic 41-38 win in 1990.

Television: The game is being televised regionally by ABC. Tim Brant calls the play by play, while Dean Blevins is the color analyst. Chip Tarkenton is the sideline reporter.

Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WQMZ in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Frank Quayle, the 1968 ACC Player of the Year, provides the color commentary, while former UVa signal caller Mike Groh provides sideline analysis and conducts the postgame interviews.

The Series vs. the Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech holds a slim 11-9-1 record in one of the most thrilling series in ACC history. Virginia has had the upper hand in Charlottesville, however, posting a 4-2-1 record against the Yellow Jackets at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium. Overall the Cavaliers have won five of the last seven meetings vs. the Yellow Jackets.

Virginia lost six and tied one of the the first seven games in the series, but has won nine of the last 14 meetings in what has to be the most riveting series in recent ACC history.

Last season's game was reminiscent of the epic battles between the two squads in the late 80s and early 90s when four straight games were decided by a touchdown or less. The Cavaliers had lost three consecutive games decided by six points or less in the series (1990-91-96) until their win two years ago. Overall, Virginia has lost eight of 10 games in the series decided by six points or less.

After winning four consecutive games convincingly in the middle part of this decade, the series has become a tight one again.

Last season's contest was deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say. Eerily reminiscent of the epic 1990 game, Virginia jumped to a 38-17 third quarter lead, only to see the Yellow Jackets storm back with 24 unanswered points to win 41-38, the same score as in 1990.

The Cavalier offense churned out 600 yards of total offense, the eighth-best performance in school history, but couldn't offset a record-setting performance by Yellow Jacket receiver Dez White who caught six passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns.

Virginia's 600 yards of total offense is the most in a loss in school history. Tailback Thomas Jones rushed for a season-high 207 yards and scored twice, but it was not enough for Virginia. The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the game late, but Todd Braverman's 54-yard field goal attempt fell just short.

The 1997 meeting, the most recent in Charlottesville, was also a back-and-forth affair. The lead see-sawed throughout the game as each team answered the others' scores. The Cavaliers scored last as Anthony Southern's one-yard plunge with 1:16 remaining proved to be the winning score.

Head coach George Welsh owns all nine of Virginia's wins over Georgia Tech.

Back-to-Back Top 10 Opponents
Georgia Tech, ranked seventh in this week's Associated Press poll, follows on the heels of top-ranked Florida State's visit to Charlottesville. This stretch marks the first time in school history the Cavaliers have played consecutive games against teams ranked in the top 10. About the closest Virginia has ever come to this occurred in 1993 when UVa played #1 Florida State and #12 North Carolina on back-to-back weekends.

This is the 16th game in school history against teams ranked in The AP top-10 since the first poll in 1936.

The first top-10 team to come to Charlottesville was #2 North Carolina Pre-Flight in 1944. That team, made up of collegians preparing for World War II, included former Cleveland Brown great Otto Graham. Virginia battled the visitors to a 13-13 tie.

This is the 12th time in ACC history that a team has played back-to-back games vs. top-10 teams during the regular season. Georgia Tech is the most recent school to do it. The Yellow Jackets defeated #7 Virginia and lost to #6 Florida State (both in Atlanta) in consecutive weeks last season. A look at Virginia's home games against top-10 opponents is below.

YearOpp. & rankResult
1944#2 North Carolina Pre-FlightTie 13-13
1947#4 PennPenn 19-7
1948#4 No. CarolinaUNC 34-12
1952#6 DukeDuke 21-7
1957#9 ArmyArmy 20-12
1959#5 ClemsonClemson 47-0
1967#4 N.C. StateNCSU 30-8
1976#6 MarylandMd. 28-0
1984#3 ClemsonClemson 55-0
1990#9 ClemsonUVa 20-7
1992#6 Fla. StateFSU 13-3
1995#2 Fla. StateUVa 33-28
1996#6 No. CarolinaUVa 20-17
1997#3 Fla. StateFSU 47-21
1999#1 Fla. StateFSU 35-10

UVa Defense Slows Tech Ground Game
Virginia's ability to hold the Georgia Tech rushing attack in check has been one of the factors enabling the Cavaliers to win five of the last seven meetings against the Yellow Jackets. Since Rick Lantz came to Charlottesville as UVa's defensive coordinator in 1991, the Yellow Jackets have rushed for more than 150 yards once (312 in 1991).

No Georgia Tech runner has rushed for at least 100 yards against UVa since Jimy Lincoln gained 229 in 1991.

Since 1992, Georgia Tech is averaging just 102.7 yards rushing per game and 2.9 yards per carry. In an odd twist, the Yellow Jackets have won the last two games (both in Atlanta) when they failed to rush for at least 100 yards. Here's a look at Georgia Tech's ground game against UVa since Rick Lantz joined the Virginia staff.

YearAtt.Net Yds.Avg.TD
199155312*5.72
1992331023.10
1993311494.81
199432190.60
1995421503.61
199640952.41
1997441212.83
199829832.90
Total30610313.48
* fifth-highest total allowed by UVa since 1991

Georgia Tech Uses Field Goals to Sink Virginia
Georgia Tech has kicked nine field goals vs. Virginia in the 1990s and five of them have decided games.

The Yellow Jackets won the 1990 and 1991 contests with last second field goals, while three years ago the Jackets connected on two field goals and won by six points. Last year Georgia Tech booted two field goals and won by three points.

Conversely, Virginia has kicked only two field goals in the last five meetings.

Tight Games or Routs-No Middle Ground
Virginia and Georgia Tech have met in some of the most classic battles in ACC history. Since the Yellow Jackets' first season of ACC play in 1983, the teams have met 16 times and more than half of the games have been decided by seven points or less (nine of 16).

Since 1983, the series has featured one tie and other games decided by one point, three points (three games), four points (two games), six points and seven points.

Curiously, the Cavaliers put together a four-game winning streak earlier this decade in decisive fashion, winning each game by more than 16 points. Of the last 16 meetings, only three have been decided by eight to 16 points.

Jones Leads Nation in Rushing
Heisman Trophy candidate Thomas Jones is putting together one of the best seasons in school history in 1999. He leads the country in rushing, averaging 159.1 yards per game (1273 yards in eight games). He reached the 1000-yard mark in just seven games, joining John Papit (1949) as the only players to get to 1000 yards in seven games.

Jones' 1273 yards are already fourth-most in a season in school history and 10th in ACC history and he still has three games left to play. Not surprisingly, Jones has been the game's leading rusher in every game for Virginia this season.

He has been at at his best lately. He carried the ball a school-record 38 times for a career-high 221 yards and three touchdowns in UVa's 47-26 win over N.C. State last month.

The 221 yards proved to be a milestone as it was the fourth 200-yard game of his career-an ACC record. He also tied the ACC record with his second 200-yard game of the season.

Despite Virginia's loss to top-ranked Florida State last week, Jones proved to a national television audience who the best back in the country really is. He rushed for 164 yards against a Seminole defense that was allowing just 86.0 yards rushing coming into the game. His 164 yards vs. the Seminoles are the most they have allowed since UVa's Tiki Barber rushed for 193 yards in 1995, a span of 50 games.

Jones Shows Up Every Day Despite leading the ACC in rushing by nearly 400 yards and standing as the third-leading returning rusher in the nation this season, Thomas Jones fails to get the attention he deserves. He ran for 1303 yards last season, the eighth-highest total in ACC history, and tied the ACC record with two 200-yard games. And the player with the common name continues to display his uncommon abilities.

Jones leads the nation in rushing, with a 159.1 yards per game average as he threatens the ACC single-season rushing mark of 1720 yards by North Carolina's Don McCauley in 1970.

In his third year as the starting tailback, perhaps it's important to also note his durability. A testament to his offseason work ethic, Jones has not missed a game in his career, while starting the last 31 at tailback. He made the 31st consecutive start of his career last week against Florida State to add to his list of school records- most consecutive starts by a tailback. Terry Kirby got the starting nod 30 straight games from 1990-92 and held the previous record.

Just as amazing as his streak of consecutive starts is the fact that Jones has never missed so much as a practice during his career at Virginia.

Jones Fourth and Climbing
As his career at Virginia was coming to a close in 1996, Virginia's all-time leading rusher, Tiki Barber, mentioned that Thomas Jones (then a true freshman) would be the one to break his records. Barber seems to be very prescient regarding the performance of the player who was his understudy three years ago.

Jones, who has 1273 yards rushing this season, is one of just eight players in school history to top the 1000-yard plateau. (Virginia has had 11 1000-yard seasons-Jones, Barber and Terry Kirby each had two.) His 1273 yards this season is already fourth in school history and he has three games yet to play in his quest to set UVa's single-season rushing record.

Barber currently holds the record with 1397 yards in 1995 when he played in 12 games. (Barber also holds the 11-game record with 1360 yards in 1996.) Jones, who needs just 125 yards to set the single-season record, has to average 41.7 yards per game the rest of the way to eclipse Barber.

Perhaps it's fitting that Jones and Barber are the only players in school history to put together back-to-back 1000-yard seasons. (Terry Kirby had two 1000-yard seasons but they weren't consecutive.)

Jones is also averaging 159.1 yards rushing per game this season, tops in the nation. If he can keep up this pace he will eclipse the ACC single-season record currently held by former North Carolina star Don McCauley. McCauley rushed for 1720 yards and averaged 156.4 ypg in 1970. Below is the list of all 1000-yard rushers in UVa history.

Player, yearYards Rushing
1.Tiki Barber, 19951397
2.Tiki Barber, 19961360
3.Thomas Jones, 19981303
4.Thomas Jones, 19991273
5.Barry Word, 19851224
6.John Papit, 19491214
7.Frank Quayle, 19681213
8.Terry Kirby, 19921130
9.Marcus Wilson, 19891098
10.Tommy Vigorito, 19791045
11.Terry Kirby, 19901020

Greene Sends Kickoffs to the End Zone
For the second year in a row, David Greene is handling the kick-off duties for the Cavaliers, while Todd Braverman is the kicker for field goals and extra points.

Greene possesses the stronger leg, which makes him the ideal kick-off man. Last season in his first action, he did all the kicking off. In 59 kickoffs he had 14 touchbacks, while typically placing the ball deep.

Building on a fine finish to last season, Greene has boomed 27 of 39 kickoffs this season into the endzone, resulting in 15 touchbacks. The opponents are averaging 21.9 yards per return against UVa's kickoff coverage team.

McMullen Puts Publicity Gnomes to Work
True freshman wide receiver Billy McMullen had two touchdown catches in UVa's 47-26 win over N.C. State recently. He led the team with 109 yards receiving (a career high), while his four receptions tied Ahmad Hawkins for team honors.

McMullen's performance sent the publicity gnomes of the University of Virginia athletic media relations office scrambling to find out how that compared with the performances of other true freshmen in UVa history (or at least going back through available records to 1940).

Research has concluded that McMullen is only the fourth true freshman to catch two TD passes in a game for Virginia. The others are Germane Crowell vs. Florida State in 1994 (his first college game), Demetrius "Pete" Allen vs. Navy in 1992 and John Ford against VMI and Virginia Tech in 1984. Three other true freshmen have scored two touchdowns (all rushing) in one game-quarterback Scott Gardner vs. VMI in 1972 (also his first college game), Antonio Rice vs. Georgia Tech in 1982 and Durwin Greggs vs. William & Mary in 1986.

McMullen leads the team with 272 yards receiving and is tied for second with 17 receptions (one behind leader Kevin Coffey).

Anderson Quietly Turning in Fabulous Year
As the oldest member of the defensive front, Maurice Anderson has used the wisdom that comes with age and experience to his advantage this season. He has turned in the best season of his career in 1999 despite a series of nagging injuries that might sideline other players.

Throughout most of his career he has had to play behind more heralded linemen including Antonio Dingle, Patrick Kerney and Todd White, but this season he is showing what he can do.

Anderson began the year in fine fashion by leading Virginia in tackles for the first time in his career with a career-high 10 stops vs. North Carolina. He turned in his second double-digit outing of the year against Duke with 10 tackles.

Adept at plugging the middle of the line, Anderson has made at least seven tackles in five games this season.

With two games of at least 10 tackles, he is the first UVa defensive tackle to have as many as two double-digit performances since Todd White had two in 1995. He is also the first UVa defensive tackle to lead the team in tackles in a game since White in 1994 and is the first Cavalier defensive tackle to lead twice in a season since at least 1989.

Anderson is third on the team with 51 tackles, far surpassing his previous career high of 31 in 1997. The 51 tackles are the most by a UVa defensive tackle since White had 77 in 1995.

Showing surprising athleticism for such a big man, Anderson has blocked two extra point kicks this season.

Coffey's Production Falls Off Recently
After turning in a fine season last year, when he caught 23 passes (25.4 avg.) and a team-leading five touchdowns, wide receiver Kevin Coffey looked forward to turning in a big year this season.

Quarterback Dan Ellis made his first career start In the season opener against North Carolina and frequently looked Coffey's way. Coffey caught four passes for 101 yards (his second career 100-yard game) and one touchdown. In addition to his touchdown grab (a 32-yarder), his other three receptions all went for first downs.

He had four catches for 48 yards and one touchdown the following week against Clemson, but since then his numbers have fallen off dramatically. Coffey has caught just 10 passes in the last six games, and is averaging 10.7 yards per catch (well off his career average of 19.6 yards). His lone catch vs. Brigham Young was a 25-yard scoring reception as well as his last touchdown.

Against Virginia Tech, featuring one of the nation's top defenses, he caught two passes for just 20 yards, while he had just two catches for 16 yards in the overtime loss to Duke. He was held to one catch for 10 yards by N.C. State and had an eight-yard reception for his only catch vs. Florida State.

Kiddie Corps Get Pickoffs
Virginia has intercepted 14 passes this season, including eight by freshmen safeties.

The safety tandem of Shernard Newby and Chris Williams (both red-shirt freshmen) have teamed to intercept passes in the same game twice-North Carolina and Wake Forest. The North Carolina game was the first college game for both.

True freshman Jerton Evans intercepted a pass against Clemson in the second game of his brief college career and came back with two crucial interceptions against Brigham Young to help lead UVa to the win.

Evans' first interception vs. the Cougars came in the first quarter and set up UVa's third touchdown in a 21-point first quarter, while his second pick came in the end zone with 1:37 to play in the game that ended BYU's hopes for a comeback win.

Evans intercepted Florida State's Chris Weinke late in the first quarter last week for his fourth interception of the season, which ties the school record for most interceptions by a true freshman. Kevin Cook had four in 1986.

Evans is also bidding to become just the second true freshman to lead the team. Carl Smith (no relation to the former football player who gave the donation to expand UVa's football stadium) tied for the team lead with two in 1991.

Overall Virginia is tied for seventh in the nation in interceptions.

Jones Pushes ACC All-Time Top-10
As his career at Virginia was coming to a close in 1996, Virginia's all-time leading rusher, Tiki Barber, mentioned that Thomas Jones (then a true freshman) would be the one to break his records. Barber seems to be very prescient regarding the performance of the player who was his understudy three years ago.

Jones rushed for 1303 yards last season, the third-highest single-season mark in school history (behind Barber's two best seasons). So far this season Jones is turning in another big year. He has rushed for 1273 yards, and has had six 100-yard performances (including two 200-yard efforts).

Jones now has 3473 career rushing yards, tops in school history and 12th in ACC history.

Jones' place on the ACC all-time rushing list is below.

Player, schoolRush Yds.
7.Raymond Priester, Clemson3717
8.Jerry Mays, Georgia Tech3699
9.Leon Johnson, North Carolina3642
10.Joe McIntosh, N.C. State3642
11.Tremayne Stephens, N.C. State3553
12.Thomas Jones, Virginia3473

Isabelle Reaches Double Digits Four Times
Junior linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle gets better with each game as he attempts to fill the rather large shoes of current NFL starter Wali Rainer in the Cavalier defense.

Isabelle, who saw limited action in his first two seasons behind Rainer, led the Cavaliers with 14 tackles against Clemson early in the season. The 14 tackles is a career high, topping the eight he had against Florida State as a freshman two years ago.

He paced the team against with 10 tackles against Wake Forest as Virginia held Morgan Kane, the nation's leading rusher coming into the game, to just 65 yards.

Putting up Rainer-like numbers, Isabelle's 14 stops vs Brigham Young led the team for the third week in a row.

He did not play against Virginia Tech due to the death of his mother, Deberah, but returned vs. Duke to lead the team once again with 10 tackles. Isabelle missed reaching double figures against N.C. State, but still led the team with seven tackles.

A very smart player who is still learning on the job, Isabelle leads the team with 64 tackles despite missing one game. A look at his game-by-game stats are below.

SoloAst.TTLother
N. Carolina213PBU
Clemson9*5*14*FR
W. Forest7*310*
BYU7*7*14*hurry
Va. TechDNP
Duke5510*QBS, hurry, PBU
N.C. State437*FR
Fla. State426FC
* led team

Welsh Seventh Among Active Wins Leaders
Head coach George Welsh, tabbed last season by The Sporting News as the nation's best coach, is ranked seventh in wins among active Division I-A coaches.

Welsh has won 180 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present), tied for 27th in NCAA Division I-A history. His overall career record is 180-125-4 (.589).

The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to win at least 100 games. He has a 125-79-3 record in 18 seasons at Virginia. His 78 wins in ACC games is also a record.

A look at the winningest active coaches is below.

1.Joe Paterno, Penn State (34 years)316 wins
2.Bobby Bowden, Fla. State (34)301
3.LaVell Edwards, BYU (28)250
4.Lou Holtz, So. Carolina (28)216
5.Don Nehlen, West Va. (29)194
6.John Cooper, Ohio State (23)184
7.George Welsh, UVa (27)180

Experienced Line Opens Holes for Jones Head coach George Welsh has always emphasized the need to have a strong running game and this year is no different.

Virginia features the nation's top running back in Thomas Jones. Jones has rushed for 1273 yards this season (159.1g), tops in the country. Leading the way for Jones is a battle-tested line that features three returning starters and another player who started five games a year ago. Virginia's top offensive lineman is left guard Noel LaMontagne. A senior tri-captain, LaMontagne is the most experienced lineman with 27 career starts under his belt.

Joining LaMontagne on the left side of the line is Josh Lawson, a first-team All-Freshman by The Sporting News last season. However, Lawson did not play vs. Florida State due to an injury and was replaced by Jared Woodson.

Second-team All-ACC John St. Clair is the center. One of the top (and most underrated) centers in the country, he is quietly molding himself into one of the top center prospects available in the upcoming NFL draft. Sophomore Evan Routzahn, a starter in five games at left guard last season, has moved to right guard this season and is considered a very promising player by Welsh. He is joined by junior Brad Barnes, the right tackle. Barnes saw limited action in his first two years, but has worked hard to forge his way into the line-up and is considered by Welsh the most improved player on the offensive line. Barnes was selected the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his play in UVa's win over N.C. State.

Primary back-ups along the line include George Seals at center, Woodson at guard and Dustin Keith at tackle. Keith has also seen action at center.

Turnovers Important to Outcome
Virginia has been involved in several games this season that have been influenced greatly by turnovers-both for and against UVa. The Cavaliers have had a tendency to compound their turnovers with a double whammy-turnovers in the red zone and an inability to prevent scores after turnovers.

Dan Ellis threw three interceptions in the opener against North Carolina, two coming inside the red zone (including one returned 89 yards for a touchdown).

Against Clemson, Thomas Jones lost a fumble inside the Clemson 10-yard line as UVa was attempting to cut into a 17-0 deficit in the second quarter. After having just two turnovers in the next three games, mistakes proved to be the Cavaliers' undoing in the overtime loss to Duke last month. An Arlen Harris punt return for a touchdown early in the game was brought back due to a penalty.

On Duke's next possession, Dwayne Stukes intercepted a pass to give UVa the ball on Duke's 44-yard line. Following a first down, Ellis had a pass intercepted in the end zone to end that drive.

Punter Donnie Scott was unable to handle a bad snap in his end zone and tried to pass. The pass was incomplete, giving Duke possession on the 11-yard line. The Blue Devils scored a touchdown four plays later.

Tim Spruill blocked a Duke punt to give the Cavaliers the ball at the Duke 35-yard line. But Jones lost a fumble at the 12-yard line to kill another drive. Duke drove down field to kick a game-tying field goal. Virginia's final possession of the game ended as Ellis threw his second interception of the day in the second overtime.

In UVa's game against N.C. State, the Wolfpack turned the ball over on three of their first four second half possessions. Virginia turned the miscues into 22 points (in a 30-point quarter). The 30 points helped erase a 19-10 halftime deficit as Virginia rolled to a 47-26 win.

Of UVa's 15 turnovers, 10 have been turned into points by the opposition. Clemson scored two touchdowns and a field goal off UVa miscues, while the week before North Carolina's defense scored on an interception return and scored its lone offensive touchdown following an interception. Brigham Young returned Ellis' only interception for a touchdown three weeks ago, while Duke scored a just one field goal off three UVa turnovers.

Virginia has forced 20 turnovers this season (14 interceptions, six fumbles) and blocked one punt. From these mistakes the Cavaliers have scored just nine touchdowns.

Braverman Boots 50-Yard Winner
Place-kickers live a strange existence, always walking on the cusp between hero and goat. Over the last two seasons Todd Braverman can surely attest to the fine line kickers walk.

Last season he booted a 30-yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining to defeat Clemson 20-18 in the season's third week. But from that point on, the up-and-down nature of kickers seemed to be mostly down for him.

He missed a field goal that could have sent the Georgia Tech game into overtime, but to be fair it was from 54-yards out and didn't miss by much. He then missed an extra point and a 48-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the Peach Bowl loss to Georgia. The field goal, if good, would have won it for Virginia, but instead the ball drifted wide right. (Braverman shouldn't be blamed for either loss as Virginia held 21-point leads in both contests.)

The uncertainty of his position continued into this preseason and he wasn't announced as the kicker for this season until the week of the North Carolina game.

But things swung upward for Braverman when he was named the starter. He wasted little time justifying Welsh's decision and erasing the memories of last season in the opener against North Carolina with two field goals against the Tar Heels.

Called on to be the hero, Braverman answered the call with a 50-yard boot with 27.4 seconds remaining to give Virginia a 20-17 victory. The kick didn't clear the crossbar by much, but it was enough to make Braverman the sixth kicker in school history to make a 50-yarder. His 50-yard victory kick vs. the Tar Heels is the longest game-winning field goal in school history.

He has made all 23 extra points and and six of nine field goal attempts this season. After missing the first extra point attempt of his career (last season vs. Auburn), he has made 61 in a row in regular season games, the longest streak since Jake McInerney made a school-record 88 PATs from 1989-90.

Taylor Returns with a Vengeance
Linebacker Shannon Taylor sat out last season for personal reasons. But the lay-off hasn't seemed to be a setback based on his performance this season. He was recruited as a quarterback, but moved to linebacker shortly after his arrival in Charlottesville and has alternated between linebacker and defensive end during his career. He lettered as a linebacker in 1996 and at defensive end in 1997. A gifted athlete who excels at getting to the quarterback, he has been in on seven sacks in his career.

He was one of the few defensive bright spots against Clemson. He tied his career high at the time with seven tackles (since broken) against the Tigers, including two stops behind the line of scrimmage.

His career high for tackles didn't last long, however because he followed that with a 10-tackle performance against Wake Forest. He had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including his second sack of the season. The big plays for Taylor continued against Brigham Young as he turned in eight tackles, including two more tackles behind the line. That marked the third game in a row Taylor had two tackles for loss.

He tied his career high with three tackles for loss against top-ranked Florida State on Saturday. That is also the team high this season. Taylor is second on the team with 57 tackles (7.1/g), while leading the team with 10 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks.

VIRGINIA BY THE NUMBERS

0-Thomas Jones' durability is best typified by the fact that he hasn't missed so much as a PRACTICE during his career. He has also started 31 consecutive games at tailback, a UVa record for a tailback.

1-UVa head coach George Welsh is the winningest coach in ACC history. The only coach in league history to win 100 games, he has a 125-79-3 record at Virginia. Welsh has also won 78 ACC games, the most in league history.

1-Thomas Jones has caught 17 passes this season, tops among ACC running backs. He led ACC running backs in receptions last year with 28.

3-Thomas Jones earned his undergraduate degree in psychology in just three years. He received his degree in May of 1999.

7-Virginia is tied for seventh in the nation with 14 interceptions. True freshman Jerton Evans leads the team with four pickoffs.

7-UVa head coach George Welsh is seventh among active Division I-A coaches in wins. He has won 180 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present).

11-Players have made the first start of their careers this season. Five first-timers started the opener vs. North Carolina, the most since 1997 to start an opener. Jared Woodson started at left guard against Florida State to become the most recent member of this club.

12-Consecutive seasons with at least seven wins by UVa, the longest streak in ACC history. UVa is one of only four Division I-A programs (Fla. State, Michigan, Nebraska) to post at least seven wins in each of the last 12 seasons. It is also tied for the eighth-longest current streak of winning seasons in the nation.

149.3, 41.7-Thomas Jones, UVa's all-time leading rusher, leads the nation in rushing with a 159.1 average. Jones is in hot pursuit of the all-time ACC and UVa single season rushing mark. Jones needs to average 149.3 ypg to top Don McCauley's (UNC) ACC record of 1720 yards in 1970 and 41.7 ypg to break Tiki Barber's school record of 1397 yards in 1995.