Virginia Football Faces Geogia Tech

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM Currently 25th in the nation in tackling with an average of 10.8 tackles per game, Byron Thweatt looks to have another big game against Georgia Tech.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
Currently 25th in the nation in tackling with an average of 10.8 tackles per game, Byron Thweatt looks to have another big game against Georgia Tech.
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 3, 2000

  • Listen To Coach Welsh's comments previewing the game

    Virginia (5-3, 4-2) at Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-2)
    Nov. 9, 2000
    8:00 p.m. (ESPN)
    Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field
    Atlanta, Ga.

    Virginia and Georgia Tech square off in what is perhaps the most exciting series in ACC history on Thursday (Nov. 9) at 8:00 p.m. in ESPN's Thursday Night Football package.

    The Cavaliers come to Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field needing one victory to become bowl eligible and two victories to extend the streak of seasons with at least seven wins to 14 (dating back to 1987). Virginia played its best game defensively the last time out against North Carolina with a 17-6 win over the Tar Heels. The Cavaliers are 5-3 overall and are tied with Georgia Tech for third place in the ACC with identical 4-2 conference marks.

    The Yellow Jackets moved back into the polls at #25 in The Associated Press poll following their 31-28 at Clemson. The Jackets have won four games in a row and are 6-2 overall this season.

    Virginia will look for its first win on the Jackets' home field since 1994. The Wahoos looked like they might win the last meeting in Atlanta in 1998, but the homestanding Jackets staged a remarkable comeback to gain a 41-38 win. The Cavaliers rolled up 600 yards of total offense in that game, including 207 yards rushing by Thomas Jones, but were unable to gain the win.

    Television: Thursday's game is being televised nationally on ESPN. Chris Fowler calls the play-by-play, while Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit provide the color commentary. Dr. Jerry Punch is the sideline reporter.

    Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WWWV in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Frank Quayle, the 1968 ACC Football Player of the Year, provides the color commentary, while Quayle's former teammate and quarterback Gene Arnette provides sideline analysis.

    The Series vs. the Yellow Jackets
    Georgia Tech holds a slim 11-10-1 advantage in one of the most thrilling series in ACC history, but the Cavaliers can even the all-time series with its first win in Atlanta in six years. The Yellow Jackets have won nine of the 14 games played in Atlanta, including the last two.

    Virginia lost six and tied one of the the first seven games in the series, but has won 10 of the last 15 meetings in what has to be the most riveting series in recent ACC history.

    Last year's contest, a 45-38 Virginia win, continued a trend where one team built a big lead only to lose the lead and, ultimately, the game. The Yellow Jackets jumped to an early 17-0 first quarter lead before the Cavalier offense got on track. Georgia-native David Rivers, currently the starting quarterback at Division I-AA Western Carolina, made the only start of his Virginia career a successful one by putting on one of the most heroic performances in school history. He out-dueled Heisman Trophy runner-up Joe Hamilton by completing 18 of 30 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns in guiding the Cavaliers to the win.

    Georgia Tech's frustrations in last year's game in Charlottesville mirrored the same frustrations the Cavaliers faced two years ago in Atlanta. In that game, it was the Cavaliers that built a big lead (38-17 in the third quarter), only to see the Yellow Jackets storm back with 24 unanswered points to win 41-38.

    After winning four consecutive games convincingly in the middle part of this decade, the last four games have been reminiscent of the epic battles staged in the late '80s and early '90s when four straight games were decided by a touchdown or less. The combined margin of victory in the last four games is 20 points, with each team winning twice.

    Overall, 12 of 22 games played between the two have been decided by seven points or less, with Georgia Tech winning eight and Virginia four.

    UVa has scored at least 35 points in four of the last five meetings, including the last three, while the Yellow Jackets have topped 30 points in the last three contests. The last three games have been decided by a combined 14 points. The losing team has scored 38 points the last two years. George Welsh owns all 10 of Virginia's wins over Georgia Tech.

    Cavaliers in November
    Virginia head coach George Welsh calls November the most important time of the season.

    In the last three years the Cavaliers have done very well in November, winning eight of its last 10 November games. Over the last 10 years UVa is 20-13 in November, including 13-9 in ACC games.

    George Welsh's Virginia squads have a 35-25-1 overall record in November since 1982.

    The Cavaliers are 6-4 in road ACC games in November under Welsh in the last 10 years.

    Coming Out of an Off Week
    The Cavaliers return to action on Thursday night against Georgia Tech after having more than a week off to prepare following their second off week of the season.

    The first off week came following a 31-23 win over Maryland last month. Virginia had an extra week to prepare for Florida State, but the extra time wasn't enough as the Cavaliers fell to FSU 37-3.

    Off weeks have been a mixed bag for Virginia under head coach George Welsh. The Cavaliers have posted an 11-12 record under Welsh in games following an off week.

    This is the fourth time Welsh's Cavaliers have faced Georgia Tech following a week off. UVa won in 1987 after an off week, but has lost the last two to the Yellow Jackets in heartbreaking fashion, the epic 1990 meeting that toppled the Cavaliers from atop the polls and the 1998 contest that saw Tech come from way behind to win.

    UVa Plays on ESPN Thursday Night Football
    The game against Georgia Tech marks Virginia's sixth Thursday night affair on ESPN. Overall the Cavaliers are 3-2 on Thursday nights on ESPN.

    This match-up is the third time the Cavaliers and Yellow Jackets have clashed as part of the ESPN Thursday Night football package. They have split the first two appearances, the Yellow Jackets winning in 1991 and Virginia taking the win in 1993. Both of those games, like this one, were played in Atlanta.

    Where's the Defense?
    Defense hasn't been the name of the game for either team the last three years. Virginia is averaging 39.3 points and 503.3 yards of offense per game, while Georgia Tech is averaging 36.7 points and 425.0 yards of offense per game.

    All told Virginia has scored 118 points and Georgia Tech 110 in the last three games. Both teams have scored at least 31 points each time.

    This series is only the second in ACC history that has had both teams score 30+ points in three straight meetings. Maryland and Wake Forest also did so in 1981-82-83.

    Georgia Tech Uses Field Goals to Sink Virginia
    Georgia Tech has kicked 10 field goals vs. Virginia since 1990 and five of them have decided games.

    The Yellow Jackets won the 1990 and 1991 contests with last second field goals by Scott Sisson. The Jackets connected on two field goals and won the 1996 meeting by six points. Georgia Tech booted two field goals and won by three points in 1998, the most recent game in Atlanta. Conversely, Virginia has kicked only three field goals in the last six meetings.

    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 six of the last eight 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 just twice (1991, '99).

    Since 1992, Georgia Tech is averaging 116.7 yards rushing per game and 3.1 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.

    Turnovers Make a Difference
    Coaches often cite turnovers as one of the keys to a team's success in any particular game.

    And the rivalry between Virginia and Georgia Tech is a good example of this coaching mantra.

    Since George Welsh took over the UVa program in 1982, the Cavaliers are 7-1 (.875) when committing fewer turnovers than the Yellow Jackets. The lone loss occurred in 1991.

    Georgia Tech, on the other hand, is 4-2-1 (.643) when it commits fewer turnovers.

    There have been three games since 1982 ('82, '87, '98) where the teams had equal turnovers. UVa won only in 1987.

    You Couldn't Tell by the Offense
    Typically the team with the most total offense wins the game, not all the time, we'll admit, but more often than not.

    However, in the last four years that doesn't hold true in this rivalry. Last season's contest marked the first time since 1995 that the team with the most offense won.

    Virginia has out-gained Georgia Tech in its last four visits to Atlanta and has lost the last two. The last time the Yellow Jackets out-gained Virginia and won in Atlanta was in 1991.

    Since 1982, George Welsh's first at the helm of the UVa program, Virginia is 8-5 when gaining more yards, while Georgia Tech is 2-2-1 when having the offensive advantage.

    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 began playing an ACC schedule in 1983, the teams have met 17 times and more than half of the games have been decided by seven points or less (10 of 17).

    Since 1983, the series has featured one tie and other games decided by one point, three points (three games), four points (2), six points and seven points (2).

    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 17 meetings, only three have been decided by eight to 16 points.

    Five Cavaliers Return as Graduate Students
    Five members of Virginia's 2000 football team are participating this fall as graduate students. The group includes: offensive tackle Brad Barnes, wide receiver Kevin Coffey, center Dustin Keith, linebacker Byron Thweatt and fullback Patrick Washington.

    Barnes and Keith received their undergraduate degrees in sociology, while Coffey and Thweatt earned their degrees in history and Washington in economics.

    The UVa program has had approximately 70 players participate as graduate students over the past 11 seasons.

    A Tale of Two Halves
    Virginia has been a fast starting team this season, scoring 123 of its 183 points in the first half. In the first quarter the Cavaliers are outscoring their opponents by an incredible 65-19 margin.

    Virginia has scored at least 10 points in the first quarter on four occasions this season, with a 21-point outburst vs. Maryland representing the most points in the first quarter. Florida State has skewed Virginia's first quarter points allowed somewhat since the Seminoles scored 13 of the 19 first quarter points allowed by UVa this season.

    The Wahoos are outscoring the opposition in the second quarter by a 58-44 margin, but the second half, however, is a completely different story. In the third quarter the Cavaliers have been outscored 54-41, while in the fourth quarter the opponents are ahead 41-19.

    Virginia's 16 points (10-6) vs. Duke is its best second half output this season. The only other times the Cavaliers have reached double figures in the second half was 14 points (7-7) against Brigham Young and 10 points (7-3) against North Carolina.

    UVa failed to score in the second half against Clemson, scored three points against Maryland and Florida State, and scored seven points vs. both Richmond and Wake Forest.

    Ellis Moves Up UVa Passing Charts
    Quarterback Dan Ellis had his rise up Virginia's passing charts slowed somewhat by a recent hamstring injury that caused him to miss the Florida State game and limited his effectiveness against North Carolina upon his return.

    The senior signal caller pulled his hamstring just before halftime of Virginia's win over Maryland a month ago. He didn't practice the week following the injury as Virginia had an off week. He returned to practice for the Florida State game and made the trip to Tallahassee although he did not play.

    He returned in UVa's last game to guide the Cavaliers to a 17-6 win over North Carolina.

    This season Ellis is completing 58.0 percent of his passes for 1506 yards and seven touchdowns and has frequently made the opposition pay for concentrating on stopping the run.

    In the season's second game against Richmond he completed 19 of 28 attempts for 299 yards and a score.

    Duke put good pressure on Ellis in UVa's first road game but he was undeterred by the Blue Devils with 20 completions in 30 attempts for 333 yards and three touchdowns.

    Ellis has moved very quickly up several of Virginia's all-time passing charts throughout the season. He has thrown 28 career touchdown passes, fifth in school history. He has also thrown for 3838 yards, sixth in school history.

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

    In his 28th season as a collegiate head coach, Welsh has won 188 games at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present), and is 24th in NCAA Division I-A history.

    Welsh is the winningest coach in the history of both UVa and Navy. The legendary Paul Bear Bryant (Alabama, Kentucky) and Arizona's Dick Toomey (Arizona, Hawaii) are the only other coaches to be the winningest coach at two different schools.

    Welsh's overall career record is 188-129-4 (.592).

    The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to win at least 100 games. He has a 133-83-3 record in 19 seasons at Virginia. His 84 wins in ACC games is also a record, as are his 36 ACC road wins.

    Turnovers Prevalent in Two Recent Contests
    Virginia has been very judicious in taking care of the ball and limiting miscues for most of the season, but the Maryland and Florida State games were the kind that drive coaches crazy.

    Prior to the Maryland game the Cavaliers had committed just two turnovers (both interceptions). The mistakes started against Maryland, continued vs.

    Florida State before finally ceasing against North Carolina.

    Virginia committed nine turnovers (five fumbles, four interceptions) combined vs. Maryland and FSU.

    Against Maryland, turnovers almost proved to be UVa's downfall. The Terps returned an interception 69 yards for their first touchdown and used a second interception to set up another touchdown as the Cavaliers committed four turnovers.

    Florida State benefitted greatly from Virginia's season-high five turnovers (three fumbles, two interceptions). Virginia also suffered from a variety of other mistakes, including a bad snap on a punt, a missed field goal and 10 penalties.

    Virginia's lone turnover vs. North Carolina was a turnover by the punt return team when the ball hit a UVa blocker. Carolina recovered but was unable to capitalize on the miscue.

    Eight True Frosh See Action in '00
    Tailback Jonathan Ward saw his first playing time of the season against Duke in September to become the eighth true freshman to play for UVa this season.

    Linebacker Rich Bedesem (saw first action from scrimmage vs. Richmond), defensive tackle Andrew Hoffman, defensive end Raymond Mann and cornerback Art Thomas all saw action in the opener vs. Brigham Young.

    Cornerback Almondo Curry, wide receiver Michael McGrew and safety Jamaine Winborne saw their first action the next week against Richmond.

    The eight true freshmen to play this season represent Virginia's largest group since 1983 when 10 rookies played.

    Opening Drive Success
    Virginia has scored touchdowns on its opening drive in four games this season.

    The Cavaliers received the opening kickoff against Maryland and promptly marched 80 yards in 13 plays to reach paydirt on Tyree Foreman's four-yard dash to the end zone.

    Virginia forced Wake Forest to punt and began its initial possession at the 16-yard line. It took UVa nine plays to cover the 84 yards to the end zone as Antwoine Womack bolted 40 yards on his second carry of the game to put the Cavaliers on the board. Virginia also scored on its first possession against Brigham Young and Richmond in the season's first two games.

    Against BYU, the Cavaliers marched 80 yards in eight plays with Arlen Harris' 28-yard burst up the middle getting UVa on the scoreboard first.

    The next week against Richmond, Womack started the scoring with a five-yard run that ended a 13-play, 78-yard drive and put Virginia ahead for good.

    Interestingly, Virginia also scored on its first drive four times last season, North Carolina (FG), BYU (TD), Buffalo (TD) and Maryland (FG).

    Linebackers Lead the Way
    Virginia's linebacking quartet of Angelo Crowell, Donny Green, Yubrenal Isabelle and Byron Thweatt have been among Virginia's leading defensive performers this season. Not surprisingly, they are the team's leading tacklers this season.

    Thweatt, an All-America candidate who doesn't get the attention he deserves, leads the team in tackling with an average of 10.8 stops per game. One of the few four-year starters in school history, Thweatt has put last season's disappointing year behind him. He has paced the team in tackles five times this season, and received ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors twice. Most recently, he was the ACC Defensive Back of the Week for his play in the North Carolina game when he made a career-high 19 tackles.

    Yubrenal Isabelle has been UVa's leading tackler in three of the last four games, Wake Forest, Maryland, Florida State. A solid performer in the middle, he is second on the team with an average of 10.0 tackles per game. He has reached double figures on five occasions this season with a high of 16 against North Carolina.

    Donny Green sat out last season due to personal reasons, but has bolstered the defense with his play this fall. A starter in the last four contests, Green is averaging 9.1 tackles per game. With 73 tackles already, he is on his way to establishing a new career high for tackles (85 in 1998). He tied his career-high with 12 tackles against North Carolina, the third time he reached double figures this fall.

    Sophomore Angelo Crowell, younger brother of Detroit Lions wide receiver Germane Crowell, began the season in the starting line-up but gave way to Green recently. Nonetheless he is still considered a starter by defensive coordinator Rick Lantz because he sees lots of time from scrimmage. He reached double figures in the first three games of the season with a career high of 13 in the opener against Brigham Young. Crowell is averaging 8.1 tackles per game and surpassed his tackle total from last season in only three games.

    Offensive Line Replaces Two All-Americans
    Last season consensus All-American tailback Thomas Jones had the luxury of running behind one of the best offensive lines in school history. But this season, Dan Ellis, Antwoine Womack, and company have not had the benefit of All-Americans Noel LaMontagne and John St. Clair, who graduated and moved on to the NFL.

    Despite the notable losses, the line has been a strength for this year's offense once again. Right tackle Brad Barnes headlines the offensive line group. Named the team's most improved player last season, he is considered among the top tackles in the ACC.

    Left tackle Jermese Jones, the team's biggest player, missed last season due to injury, but he has unlimited potential. He made the first start of his career against Brigham Young and has added an athletic presence to the important left tackle spot. He held Florida State's Jamal Reynolds, one of the nation's leading sackers, to just three tackles.

    Fifth-year player Dustin Keith moved into the center spot vacated by St. Clair. He spent the last two years at tackle, but was moved to center in the spring (after spending a brief amount of time at defensive tackle) and has been a very steady performer.

    Evan Routzahn returns to the right guard spot next to Barnes. An underrated performer, Routzahn is a powerful blocker who rarely comes out of the game.

    Junior Jared Woodson, a local product from Western Albemarle High School, started the first three games of the season at left guard, but has been lost for the season due to a herniated disc in his neck.

    Junior Josh Lawson is one of the line's most significant performers because of his versatility. He spent the early part of the season backing up Jones and Woodson, but moved into the starting line-up due to Woodson's injury. He was the starter at left tackle the two previous seasons and was named a freshman All-American two years ago.

    Thweatt is Rare Four-Year Starter
    Linebacker Byron Thweatt looks like he's put last season's injury plagued campaign behind him.

    Hampered with an injured shoulder in 1999 that limited his effectiveness, Thweatt's value to the team became evident when he wasn't able to take a break.

    Currently 25th in the nation in tackling with an average of 10.8 tackles per game, Thweatt is seventh in school history with 348 tackles and has a good shot at completing his career in the top five now that he's back in good health.

    With 43 consecutive starts under his belt, It is also interesting to note that he is just the fifth linebacker in school history to be a four-year starter since freshman eligibility was restored in 1972. The short list currently includes Bryan Hollomon, Charles McDaniel, Jamie Sharper and Russ Swan.

    The list of players who have been four-year starters at Virginia for George Welsh include WRs Demetrius Pete Allen and Tyrone Davis, Ps Will Brice and Jeff Walker, OG Roy Brown, DT Ron Carey, OT Jim Dombrowski, DEs Mike Frederick and Chris Slade, Ss Tyrone Lewis and Keith McMeans, LBs McDaniel, Sharper and Swan, and C Tim Morris.

    Tailback Quartet Replaces Jones
    Thomas Jones finished his career last season as UVa's all-time leading rusher. Not surprisingly, his loss figured to leave a rather large void in the offense this season.

    However, as expected, a committee of four has served as his replacement. And the numbers, as shown in the chart below, indicate that the running game hasn't missed a beat.

    Sophomore Arlen Harris started the opener against Brigham Young and rushed for a career-high 79 yards on 18 carries. He scored the first touchdown of his career on a 28-yard bolt up the middle for UVa's first score. He hurt his knee in the game and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Sept. 8 and missed the next four weeks. He returned to action against Florida State, rushing for 22 yards on seven carries.

    Junior Antwoine Womack stepped into the starting line-up due to Harris' injury and has remained there. He rushed for 160 yards and two scores vs. BYU and is UVa's leading rusher with 803 yards.

    Junior Tyree Foreman is perhaps the team's most versatile back since he can also fill in at fullback if needed. Considered the player with the best football smarts on the team, he is also an outstanding receiver who has surprising speed for a man his size.

    Foreman has rushed for a career-high 211 yards and five touchdowns this year and had perhaps the best game of his career in the win over Maryland. A native of Sandy Spring, Md., he rushed for a career-best 64 yards and three touchdowns against his home state team.

    True freshman Jonathan Ward, a a high school All-American from Poway, Calif., saw his first action against Duke with 33 yards on just seven carries. A bruising runner with great potential according to the coaching staff, he has played in every game since and gained 74 yards total.

    Overall Virginia is third in the ACC in rushing with an average of 155.6 ypg.

    Womack 17th in Rushing at UVa
    Junior tailback Antwoine Womack didn't seem to be affected by a year away from the game based on his performance this season.

    In the season opener against Brigham Young, his first action since 1998, Womack erupted for a then career-high 160 yards on just 15 carries. He scored twice, including a 67-yard jaunt early in the fourth quarter.

    The performance pushed him over the 1000-yard mark for career rushing, just the 33rd player in school history to top the 1000-yard mark for his career. After being held to a combined 173 in the next three games against Richmond, Duke and Clemson, Womack topped the century mark in the next two games.

    He broke loose for a career-high 180 yards against Wake Forest in what is probably the best all-around game of his career. He carried 26 times and scored on a 40-yard burst in the first quarter for UVa's first touchdown. He also caught two passes for 22 yards.

    Against Maryland he toted the pigskin 29 times for 133 yards (4.6 avg.) to mark the first time he rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games in two years. He also caught one pass that he turned into a 41-yard gain for the Cavaliers' longest pass play of the afternoon and was named the ACC co-Offensive Back of the Week for his play.

    Womack was at his best in the second half against the Terps, gaining 88 yards on 16 carries (5.5 avg.), including 60 in the fourth quarter. He is now the leading rusher in the ACC, averaging 100.4 yards per game.

    Receiving Corps is Deep and Experienced
    The strongest unit on the offense this season is likely to be the receiving corps led by senior Kevin Coffey, sophomore Billy McMullen and tight end Billy Baber.

    Coffey and McMullen tied for the team lead with 28 receptions last year, while McMullen's 483 yards paced the team. In fact, McMullen set a school record for most receptions by a freshman. Coffey hauled in seven scoring tosses, while McMullen had six.

    McMullen is the team's leading receiver once again with 26 catches for 448 yards and two touchdowns. Coffey has caught just 16 passes (for 225 yards and two touchdowns), and saw his his streak of 28 consecutive regular season games with a reception end vs. Florida State.

    Joining them are senior Demetrius Dotson, sophomores James Johnson and Tavon Mason and true freshman Michael McGrew.

    Dotson was putting together a fine season last year until he injured his knee in the season's sixth game and missed the rest of the season. While healthy he caught 11 passes and averaged nearly 20 yards per catch.

    In what might be the best performance of his career, the Staten Island, N.Y., native gained a career-high 99 yards on four receptions in the season opener against Brigham Young. Two of his receptions were magnificent diving grabs, including a 42-yarder and a 35-yarder. He scored the first touchdown of his career on a eight-yard play late in the first half against Duke. He is second on the squad with 19 receptions for 278 yards and a score (all career highs).

    Johnson showed promise as a true freshman two years ago, playing in 10 regular season games, but he missed last season and was red-shirted. He caught two passes in his return vs. BYU. He electrified the crowd by out-leaping a Richmond defender to snatch a pass and scoot 50 yards for the first touchdown of his career. He also returned a punt 61 yards, but the return was nullified by a penalty.

    Mason, one of the team's fastest players, caught 12 passes last fall as a primary back-up. He has caught five passes this season.

    The tight end position is also strong with Baber, a senior, and junior Chris Luzar seeing the most significant action.

    Baber has been a spot starter throughout his career behind the oft-injured Casey Crawford. He caught 17 passes, including four for touchdowns, the most by a UVa tight end since 1994 and has 51 career receptions.

    Luzar has been hampered by injuries throughout the season, but at 6-7 he's a very tall target and teams with Baber to give the Cavaliers a talented duo of tight ends. Luzar caught a career-high six receptions for 74 yards to lead

    UVa against Florida State.

    Big Plays Bite Wahoos
    The Virginia defense is getting better with each game according to the coaching staff. But one of the problems defensively this season has been a propensity to give up big plays, either for scores or to help set up scores. Brigham Young used two big plays in the second half, a 31-yard pass play early in the third quarter and a 70-yard pass late in the third, to help set up short touchdown runs as the Cougars came back from a 21-0 deficit to post a 38-35 win in overtime.

    Duke used a 33-yard pass to set up its only touchdown and cut UVa's lead to 20-10 midway through the third quarter. The Blue Devils never got closer, however, and fell 26-10.

    Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler drove the Cavaliers batty with long touchdown runs of 45 and 75 yards, while connecting with Jackie Robinson on a 30-yard scoring strike to turn what would otherwise have been a close game into a 31-10 victory. Take away those three plays and the Tigers gained just 331 yards of offense. It should also be noted that the Tigers scored their other touchdown on a 69-yard punt return. Clemson's shortest touchdown was the 30-yard pass to Robinson.

    Wake Forest got 125 of its 307 total yards on three big plays by quarterback Anthony Young. Young raced 35 yards on a scramble in the second quarter and scrambled again for 53 yards in the third period to set up Wake's lone touchdown. He also completed a 37-yard pass that helped set up a field goal attempt (that ended up being blocked).

    Despite losing, Maryland used big plays to score all of its touchdowns vs. UVa. Defensive back Shawn Forte stepped in front of a Virginia receiver and raced 69 yards for a touchdown late in the first half to cut UVa's lead to just 28-10 when it could very easily have been 31-3 or worse.

    Offensively, the Terps scored their first touchdown on a 61-yard screen pass to Matt Kalapinski who rumbled downfield to paydirt. Their second score was set-up by a 31-yard pass play that got them deep in Virginia territory. That drive was capped by a touchdown pass on fourth down.

    Florida State got a 67-yard run by Travis Minor from deep in FSU territory to set up a field goal, and Chris Weinke connected on long touchdown passes of 30 and 58 yards to Marvin Minnis. Back-up quarterback Marcus Outzen also completed passes of 52 and 60 yards in the fourth quarter.

    North Carolina recorded no big plays and, not surprisingly as a result, failed to score a touchdown. It marked the first time in 28 games Virginia held an opponent without a touchdown.

    UVa in Elite Company
    Virginia is one of only four Division I-A programs in the country which has posted at least 13 consecutive seasons of seven or more wins.

    UVa joins Florida State as the only other Atlantic Coast Conference team to accomplish that feat. The other two schools are Nebraska from the Big 12 and Big Ten power Michigan.