Football notches first ACC victory

The Jacket’s exploded early to gain an early advantage and remained dominant through the end of the game and defeating Virginia 56-20 on Saturday.

Sophomore running back Zach Laskey recorded a 70-yard touchdown reception just 1:35 into the game. Redshirt junior A-back Robert Godhigh also performed well, with a 21-yard reception and averaging 10 yards per rush on the ground. Redshirt senior quarterback Tevin Washington had three touchdowns on the afternoon, while senior A-Back Orwin Smith contributed the most to the Jacket’s yardage gains, with 137 yards on the ground and a 10-yard reception.

On the defensive side, Tech held the Cavaliers to 297 yards total and secured two interceptions. Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco completed 60 percent of his passes, but the Jackets held him to a 5.72 yard-per-pass average.

The Jackets continued to dominate in the first few minutes of the quarter after Laskey’s early touchdown, regaining possession after forcing another punt by Virginia. Two plays later, Smith carried the ball up the sideline 76 yards for another touchdown.

Virginia answered on the next drive, scoring a touchdown on a 19-yard pass to put the Cavaliers on the board. The Jackets responded in kind on their next possession. Washington completed a number of short rushing plays  after a 60-yard run and a 10-yard pass to bring the score to 21-7.

Tech began the second quarter with possession and scored on the first drive on a short rush by redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee. The game was quiet for most of the third quarter, until Louis Young intercepted Rocco’s pass at the Virginia 44-yard line with 49 seconds remaining in the half. After moving the ball up the field, Washington carried the ball into the end zone with three seconds left on the clock to set the score at 35-7.

On Virginia’s first drive in the third quarter, redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy intercepted the first pass by Rocco to give the Jackets possession in the red zone.

Washington and Smith combined on two rushes to bring the ball into the end zone to make the game 42-7.

In the fourth quarter, both teams scored on each of their two drives. On the Jackets’ first drive, redshirt sophomore Matt Connors led the charge and scored on a 32 yard rushing play. The next time the Jackets had possession Lee rushed the final Tech touchdown of the game in on a 41-yard carry.

The Cavaliers final drive of the game was a 75-yard, 13-play effort that lasted the final six minutes of the game. Redshirt sophomore Coray Carlson earned a sack on quarterback Phillip Sims late in the game, but Tech was unable to capitalize on the advantage. After a series of long rushing plays, Virginia was able to bring the ball within 10 yards and finally scored on a 1 yard passing play in the final seconds of the game to bring the score to 56-20.