The stage was set for a memorable contest with the University of Virginia traveling to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies for the Commonwealth Cup. To heighten the already pumped teams and fan bases, the winner of the game would become bowl eligible and the loser’s season would be over.
UVA had not beaten Virginia Tech in over decade and looking to excise those demons. The Hokies were playing to extend their bowl steak to 22 straight. The intrigue present at Lane Stadium was greater than any VT-UVA matchup in years.
If you are a big fan of defense and special teams, then the first three quarters of the game was for you. If you like scoring and great offenses, hopefully you stuck it out until the fourth quarter when both offenses broke out. Played in a frosty Lane Stadium, the two defenses dictated the pace of play for most of the game.
Virginia got its first touchdown via the defense. Virginia Tech scored their first touchdown by virtue of recovering a blocked punt in the end zone. The Hokies would later score their first offensive touchdown in two weeks in the 3rd quarter.
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It was a tough night for VT quarterbacks. With the Hokies carrying only two quarterbacks on the roster since the departure of Mark Leal, both Michael Brewer and Brenden Motley were beat up by the Virginia defense. Brewer badly bruised his shoulder after being hit on his interception to UVA lineman David Dean.
He would sit out the next series where Motley would tweak his hamstring and suffer concussion-like symptoms. Motley would not return. Brewer toughed out the rest of the game and played well despite his injury. He would finish 15 for 33 for 235 yards with a pick and 2 touchdowns.
Then in the fourth quarter, both teams suddenly experienced an offensive breakthrough. The Cavaliers marched down the field 89 yards in ten plays and scored the go ahead touchdown with under three minutes left in the ballgame. Virginia Tech responded with one of their best drives of the season. Brewer led the Hokies 75 yards for the score hitting Bucky Hodges for a 9-yard touchdown pass. That left 1:48 for UVA down by four.
Virginia was almost able to pull off a miracle. The Cavilers made it 33 yards down the field on their final drive but ultimately ran out of time. As UVA called their final timeout with 12 seconds play, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared throughout the Stadium and everyone within earshot knew this game was over. Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem finished off UVA with a sack of Matt Johns to end the game.
The Hokies can now look forward a lower tier bowl game but their streak will be extended for another year. The calls for coaching changes in Blacksburg will not be completely removed but their voice will be momentarily dampened. Meanwhile, Virginia’s season will end in disappointment and rumors there will continue to swirl over in Charlottesville where middle schoolers still have never known what it is like to beat Virginia Tech.