By: Joey Raymond
Headline Photo Credit: Katie Lovell-LMS Network
Charlottesville, VA —The Hokies and Hoos are set to do battle in the fight for the Commonwealth Cup. A matchup that has seen the Hokies winners of 17 of the last 18 matchups. This one shapes up to be extremely interesting with the Hokies looking to get bowl-eligible for the first time under Brent Pry. This game also doubles as senior day for the Cavaliers. Virginia Tech is 5-6 and Virginia is 3-8 before we begin this battle. Last week Virginia beat Duke and the Hokies lost to NC State. Both of these squads are looking to take some momentum into the off-season. This game is largely about perception, and this game is a great way to make that perception fall in your favor. For Tony Elliot, it means your team is moving in the right direction after two abysmal seasons. For Brent Pry, you finally got a chance to beat UVA and you made your first bowl game. This game means a ton to both of these teams, and we’ll see who comes out on top.
First Quarter Recap:
Virginia wins the coin toss and defers to the second half, so they will be kicking it to the Hokies to start the game. The Hokies work their way down to the 24-yard line before getting stuffed by the Virginia defense. They are forced to kick a field goal, which John Love drills through the middle, giving the Hokies a 3-0 lead. Virginia and Virginia Tech would go their next drives having to punt it back to the other team. While Virginia would have to punt on the next drive yet again, the Hokies would start driving when they got the ball back. They get to the 44-yard line when Kyron Drones finds Stephen Gosnell for a 44-yard touchdown pass. Virginia Tech would stretch their lead to 10-0. Virginia would get a chance to respond and meet an angry Virginia Tech defense, and be forced to punt it away again. Virginia Tech would get the ball back, but the clock would hit all zeros and the quarter would end.
Second Quarter Recap:
Virginia Tech would continue their drive at their 23-yard line to start the second quarter. Immediately the Hokies take a shot to Felton that goes for 39 yards. Virginia Tech then ran with Tucker Halloway for 33 yards into the end zone, as the Hokies took a 17-0 lead. Virginia would try to respond on their next drive, but Calandrea forced it into a bad spot, giving Monsoor Delane a shot to intercept it. Once he secured it, he took it down to the 18-yard line. In the red zone, the Hokies would fumble the football though, giving the ball back to Virginia. UVA would start the next drive from the 2-yard line. After two roughing-the-passer penalties, Virginia would move to the 31-yard line before having to punt it back to the Hokies. A couple of plays would go by before the Hokies would hand it to Bayshul Tuten who would take it to the house, putting the Hokies up 24-0. Virginia and Virginia Tech would both get a three-and-out and punt on their next drive. Virginia would get the ball next and start rolling, working their way to the outside of the red zone. However, the Hokies pass rush was so intense they knocked them out of field goal range. UVA would go for it on fourth down, and turn the ball over on downs. The Hokies would then take a knee to send us to halftime.
Third Quarter Recap:
Virginia receives the ball to start the second half. The Cavaliers would get a first down before getting stuffed, and be forced to punt back to the Hokies. The Hokies would run 1 play, that goes for 84 yards, into the endzone, giving the Hokies a 31-0 lead. Virginia would try to get something going on offense in their next drive. They get a big chunk of play thanks to Malik Washington, and manage to get into the red zone. Once in the red zone, the Hokies would stop the Hoos from getting any further, forcing them to kick a field goal. They would drill it and find their way onto the scoreboard for the Cavaliers. The score would be 31-3 after the score. On the kickoff back to the Hokies, Bayshul Tuten would take it back to the house, scoring again for the Hokies. This would stretch the Hokies lead to 38-3. The Cavaliers would then respond with a touchdown of their own, scoring on a 38-yard touchdown pass to Fields, giving the Hoos some life, and bringing the score to 38-10. The Hokies would get a chance in this back-and-forth segment of the game. Virginia Tech would be forced to kick a field goal, but they would drill it, stretching the lead to 41-10. After the field goal, both teams’ offenses would get stopped on three plays. On the punt back to UVA, the Cavaliers would muff the punt, and the Hokies would go back on offense. Drones would find Felton shortly after, scoring a touchdown, as the Hokies were piling it on, leading 48-10 after the score. Virginia would get the ball back and run the clock out a couple of plays later, bringing us to the fourth quarter.
Fourth Quarter Recap:
Virginia would continue their drive on a third and 6 play from their 29-yard line to start the fourth quarter. They would be forced to punt it away on the next play. The Hokies wouldn’t have much better luck than the Hoos on their next drive, as they would also have to punt it away on the next drive. Virginia then would try to make something happen on offense, going 11 plays, 78 yards, and managing to muscle their way into the endzone for a Cavaliers touchdown. This would bring the score to 48-17. The Cavaliers would attempt an onside kick, but they wouldn’t convert it, and that would give the Hokies the ball at the 47-yard line. The Hokies would go 6 plays, 31 yards, capping the drive off with a touchdown, giving them a 55-17 lead. Virginia would then get the ball and just run the football, effectively just running the clock out. The clock would hit all zeros and the Hokies would start celebrating in Charlottesville.
Post Game and What’s Next?
After this big win, the now 6-6 Virginia Tech Hokies are officially bowl-eligible for the first time under head coach Brent Pry. As for Virginia, they wouldn’t have been bowl-eligible regardless but they’ll fall to 3-9. Yet another severely disappointing season for the Wahoos. After the game, the Hokies would go to take a picture on the field with the Commonwealth Cup. In the 32-degree weather, the player’s breath hangs in the air, making it impossible to differentiate from the cigar smoke. As soon as they finally got settled in place for the pictures, the administration of Virginia would turn on the sprinkler system, effectively soaking the players, staff, and media in water. I don’t think that the Hokies will forget that any time soon. Regardless of the vitriol displayed by UVA, the Hokies would get their pictures and celebrate back to Blacksburg. They’ll celebrate as they wait to see where the team is headed next, all they know is the Hokies are going bowling.