Streak Over: UVA Beats Virginia Tech 39-30

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech’s streak ends at 15 wins. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente entered the room beside the visitor’s locker room and appeared stunned. He carefully crafted every word and spoke with a slow, somber tone. 

The normally lively Tre Turner didn’t have words and had to stop in the middle of his media availability at one point, on the verge of tears.

Virginia 39, Virginia Tech 30. 15 years straight and 5,479 days with possession of the Commonwealth Cup suddenly gone. 

“I told them I loved them and I was proud of them,” Fuente said. “I thought they competed. I told them they can take this event and go one of two ways. It can draw us closer together, fuel our fire. We still have one more opportunity to play football together.”

“You can tell this one hurts,” said wide receiver Tayvion Robinson, who caught three passes for 45 yards. “You just have to move on.”

Virginia Tech’s defense knew coming into the game that UVa’s quarterback Bryce Perkins could present a multitude of challenges as a dual-threat quarterback. He was a headache the entire afternoon for Bud Foster and Co., passing for 311 yards and a touchdown along with a career-high 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Perkins’ 475 yards of total offense accounted for 96.5 percent of all of the Cavaliers’ total yards.

Bryce Perkins
Bryce Perkins had too many big plays on Friday. (Ivan Morozov)

After rushing touchdowns of 39 yards and 67 yards to open the game, the Hokies seemingly figured out UVa’s gameplan and shut him down, forcing a three-and-out on six of the next seven drives. However, Perkins then relied on the passing game and hit big play after big play against this Tech defense that hadn’t allowed a touchdown in nine quarters coming into the game.

“I pressured a couple of them when they hit us,” Foster said. “Then I came back and just played base defense.

“He wasn’t throwing the ball well at all in the first half. Our job was to keep him in the pocket and we did. In the second half, he made a couple nice throws… The quarterback got a little self-confidence in the second half. That’s all part of it.”

Missing from the action was Caleb Farley, who’s been playing at an All-American level in 2019. The redshirt sophomore was dealing with back spasms and just couldn’t give it a go after going through pregame warmups. Armani Chatman was placed in the starting lineup in Farley’s absence. 

“Caleb is an accomplished player and he really wanted to go,” Fuente said. “His back has been stoved up for the last couple of days. He’s been battling it the whole season, and he’s really been a tough competitor the whole time. He wanted to play and just couldn’t. Armani, I thought, accounted for himself well.”

The Hokies have protected the ball so well ever since the quarterback switch to Hendon Hooker, but the turnover bug returned today in Charlottesville. Tre Turner fought for extra yardage in the first half and coughed the ball up. Hendon Hooker was intercepted on a Hail Mary to end the half, snapping his streak of 124 passes without an interception to begin his career.

Late in the game, facing a third-and-20, Hooker was intercepted at UVa’s 35-yard line with 4:47 remaining in a situation where Oscar Bradburn likely pins the Cavaliers deep in their own territory.

“I was trying to make a play and the defensive player made a better play than me. That’s how the game goes,” Hooker said.

That led to the eventual game-winning 48-yard field goal for UVa’s Brian Delaney, after he missed an extra point earlier in the contest. Hooker and Co. got the ball back, down 33-30 with 1:23 remaining to tie the game or take the lead. Instead, the Cavaliers dialed up the pressure and sacked Hooker on three straight plays. On the final one, Mandy Alonso got to Hooker and forced a fumble that was recovered by Eli Hanback in the end zone for a game-sealing touchdown.

Virginia Tech
Tre Turner had a big game for the Hokies, but it wasn’t enough. (Ivan Morozov)

“We were in our two-minute offense and we were just trying to make first downs,” Hooker said. “Move the ball down the field was the priority. We just came up short.”

Hooker finished the day 18-of-30 passing for 311 yards, with a touchdown to Tre Turner for 61 yards in the third quarter. Turner finished with seven catches for 134 yards and the touchdown, while Damon Hazelton hauled in seven passes for 118 yards. 

Deshawn McClease was the leading rusher with 86 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Hooker added 44 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

“I thought he played pretty well,” Fuente said of Hooker, who dropped to 6-1 as a starter. “He played his tail off. We got in a situation there at the end of the game where everybody there knows we’re throwing the ball. That’s not our strength.

“It’s not always going to go your way. I thought he gave us a pretty good chance to win the football game… He’ll learn that part of that position is you get too much praise when you win and too much criticism when you lose.”

So where do the Hokies go from here? Gone are the dreams of an ACC Championship appearance and potential bid to the Orange Bowl. Instead, they’ll have one more bowl game, with the Belk Bowl appearing to be a likely location.

“Luckily, we have been on that positive side a lot more than we haven’t,” Foster said. “Our kids will remember this one I think. I talked to them about a rivalry. A rivalry is when two teams win, and now this team won.”

Virginia Tech can take a page from UVa’s book on how to use this loss for motivation heading into next season. The Cavaliers have 14 seniors on its current roster, and it seems like more were honored today on Senior Day. Meanwhile, the Hokies will return 21 starters next season if there are no departures. The loss will sting for a while, but it will make for an even more impressive response.

“We can use Virginia as a perfect example from a year ago,” Foster said. “You look at Virginia, they had a devastating loss, they go back and win a bowl game against an SEC team and really had some momentum going into the season. I really think we can do the same thing. We can look at ourselves. We made tremendous strides this year… We can build off of this.”

Notes

  • Divine Deablo led the defense with 11 tackles.
  • Chamarri Conner collected an interception in the first quarter and tallied seven tackles. It was the first pick of his career.
  • Brian Johnson nailed a career-long 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
  • It was the first 300-yard passing game of Hendon Hooker’s career.

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51 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Heartbreaker. Was surprised that the D left the center WIDE open the first two long run TDs. Way too easy. Then the D compensated, and it looked like we could shut them down, and were gonna win pulling away. The Hoo QB then started hitting passes and we apparently were gassed and/or had no change in the D strategy. Lots of wide open receivers. At the end, UVA looked the better team, better conditioned, more motivated, and won. Hooker and the O-line looked overwhelmed. I suppose streaks never go on forever, but I thought for sure this was our year to continue. Oh well, congrats to UVA for a tough win. Now let’s win going out, not like our recent bowl game history. A.H.

      1. The offense leaves 12 points on the field because of poor play calling in the red zone.
        The OC sends three receivers to the same sideline within 5 yards of each other and expects to have the pass complete and not intercepted when there are four defense plays in the area.
        The OB has the pocket awareness of Sean Glennon.
        Do I mention the right is easily pushed back and out of the way on the play that had the fumble in the end zone.
        The real problem is the OC. No creativity and little ability to see what is happening on the field and adjust.

  2. The first thing I look at when the TSL roster card comes out is senior stsrters. BC was loaded with Srs and Grad students. Dook was loaded with Srs. Hoos were loaded with Srs. Sr dominence was not evident in any of the ACC teams the Hokies beat. We really missed Farley, but inexperience was this Hokie team’s biggest liability. Next year!!!! Go Hokies!!

    1. I like the prospect of QP too. I would not have minded if he came out and started the 2nd half yesterday…his running ability is even better than Hooker’s and his passing will only get better.

  3. Seasoned QBs have been putting up big numbers against us for years. I think Bud saw the light for the need for new ideas. Wish him all the best in retirement and thanks for a great run.

    1. Let us forget this lost. A great group of very young Hokies have made this a great season. In 2020 we
      will have experience and start to roll again. Don’t let the UVA lost question our players or coaches, again remember how
      young this team really is. GO HOKIES !

    2. I think when they ruled out Farley, Bud had to bring the safety over to help Chapman and that freed up some space for Perkins in the 1st half. In the 2nd half we didn’t get enough consistent pressure on Perkins and Chapman and the secondary just didn’t cover that well and they got beat….that’s how I saw it.

      1. completely agree – we are too young and inexperienced to adjust to having Farley out against Perkins. I think Chapman will end up being a great player for us, but not quite ready yet.

    3. HokienGeorjaw,

      I think Bud has been one the best “idea” coaches to have ever coached and still is. If you can think of a DC that has made better in game and halftime adjustments, I will kiss your “you know what”. Seasoned QBs are usually make better plays and decisions in general. Bud has only crushed UVA for 15 years straight. Be grateful.

      1. Frank before becoming sick hammered Uva. Bud rode Beamer. Bud has not been perfect. Athletic quarterbacks his Achilles heal. Maybe Paul Johnson.

        Fuente has critical hire to make. Hopefully this guys has some more expansion of stopping the new Offenses.

        Yes Bud hammered a weak GT and a Kenny Picket led Pitt offense.

      2. In Bud we trust….that being said…. Bud does have his weaknesses. The Perkins type QB has often savaged us over the years. Yet, we were dang close to winning this one. Fuente’s former DC at Memphis is available……… Wonder if a reunions in the offing. Odom is no slouch as a defensive mind.

  4. My first trip to cville. most fans were friendly but the folks in front of us could not handle us cheering loudly for our D. I think it’s an unknown concept in cville. When VT 36 got hurt, the kids behind us cheered. Thought that was low class. Overall, a very unimpressive environment.
    We saw several facemasks that went uncalled. Ridiculous.
    Day 1 of 365 of the Quest for the Cup is underway.

  5. Not having Caleb Farley was huge. I don’t think there would have been so many open receivers down the field in the 4th quarter and our 27-20 lead would have been much tougher to overcome.

  6. Hooker played well for the most part. Let’s hope he learns from those last two drives. The lesson being that you can’t take sacks in that situation. You throw it at someone’s feet but you don’t take sacks. Those, in my opinion, were mental errors. You can accept execution errors but you can’t have mental errors. I expected Cornelson to run more misdirection. There was nothing outside of the fake reverse early.

    1. Agree. Others correct me here but I don’t think I ever saw Hooker move out of the pocket to avoid a rush and then complete a pass it throw on the run. In any game. He doesn’t create. And I wonder about his vision. He doesn’t see trouble in the pocket until it’s too late. And there was one play he dropped back and then pulled the ball down and started to run and got very little. To his left was a wide open back (presumably a check down option) and he never saw him. Overall though, he had a great year and saved our season as a first year starter. Hoping he can improve even more the next two years. The UVA loss hurts but this season was an improvement over last year and the downward trend has reversed. So, I am optimistic about the future and hoping for a bowl win, 9-4 record and finishing in the top 25.

  7. Hokies are 19-2 in last 21 games. In both losses, Hoos got outstanding QB play: Schaub in ‘03 and Perkins. With ordinary (good) QB play, Tech wins every time. Next year-new streak starts

    1. Yep.. Just told my
      old VT classmate same thing. Just need to avoid UVAs next NFL caliber QB. As I told him.. I’m OK with them winning 67 games over the next 1000 years.

      1. Yep… 7A class HS teams in Georgia could whip vmi now…. sad to see a once mediocre team fall so far…. as for the rest of you and those Nancys in harlotsville… nothing but pain next year… that cupboard is looking sparse and that backup QB better have a lot of advil with that OLine… he’ll need it.

  8. Proud of those VT Boys. My hats of to the Hoo’s in Hooville…..no boo hook hook tonight. I am glad that Mendenhall has this UVA team competing. I love my Virginia teams….except when they play my Hokies….then I hate their vile guts…while the game is on. There is room in the state for two awesome programs. I would like the two VA teams to be the class of the ACC…..and have that be a good thing.

    1. No way that I could ever root for UVA….not in any sport! Living in Charlottesville, the fans and the media are just too obnoxious. I’m proud of my Hokies and the improvements they made following the Duke game…..just so sorry that they couldn’t win this one. However, I am already looking forward to next year! In the meantime, I hope Clemson beats them by 50 and a similar beat down occurs in their bowl game.

    1. The tough part about today is Tech Gave it their all – but wasn’t their best. Just didn’t play well and made far too many mistakes. Virginia isn’t that good and they stole one today just like we stole one last year.

    1. I love the HOKIES but I do not see either team having a 15 year winning streak that just ended. If everyone returns next year, and the schedule we have, Katy bar the door, we are coming for you! I was at the game and I saw a lot of holding and facemask penalties that were not called, but that is football. The refs can’t see everything but the umpire and back judge should be able to see a lot that was missed. Oh well, on to next year and the start of another streak!!!!

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