Tech football took control of the ACC Coastal Division on a rainy Saturday afternoon, beating Virginia 34-9 on the road to earn their first win in Charlottesville since 1990. The Jackets rose to No. 11 in the BCS standings. They put on a strong offensive showing, racking up 362 yards of total offense and controlling the ball for 42 minutes and 43 seconds. The defense held the Cavaliers’ attack in check and did not allow a touchdown in the game.
Junior B-back Jonathan Dwyer led the way on offense as he gained 125 yards rushing yards and lost yardage on only one of his 25 carries. Redshirt junior A-back Anthony Allen also crossed the 100-yard mark on the ground, picking up 103 yards and two second-half touchdowns on 11 carries. Junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt added two rushing scores of his own as he ran for 84 yards and went 4-for-8 for 85 yards through the air.
The defense was not on the field for much of the game, but the unit performed well, particularly in the red zone. Virginia got within 20 yards of Tech’s end zone three times, but the Jackets’ defense held them to just six points on all three possessions. Junior linebacker Brad Jefferson tied for the team lead with six tackles, including two tackles for loss, and the team sacked Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell twice.
Tech got the first points of the game thanks to a field goal by junior kicker Scott Blair on its second possession. The drive began with Tech deep in Virginia territory after redshirt freshman linebacker Malcolm Munroe planted a huge hit on Cavalier punt returner Chase Minnifield, forcing a fumble that the Jackets recovered at Virginia’s 11-yard line.
The Jackets built a 13-6 lead at halftime, then opened the second half with an 18-play, 82-yard drive that took nearly 11 minutes off the clock. All but two plays went for positive yardage, and Allen ran it in from one yard out to give Tech a two-touchdown advantage. Tech ran a combined 21 plays over its next two drives and held the ball for more than ten minutes, reaching the end zone to cap both drives, and the defense held Sewell and the Virginia offense to just one field goal over the final two quarters as the Jackets closed out the victory.
The win created a three-way tie atop the division between Georgia Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech, and the Jackets hold the head-to-head tiebreakers over both. The Jackets now control their own destiny, as they will clinch the division title and a spot in the ACC Championship Game if they win their final two conference games against Wake Forest and Duke.