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September 29, 1998

Virginia vs. San Jose State

October 3, 1998 – 1:00 p.m.The Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott StadiumCharlottesville, Va.

Records: Virginia (1998 record: 4-0 overall/3-0 in the ACC) faces San Jose State (1998 record: 2-2 overall/1-0 in the WAC) for the first time this Saturday (Oct. 3) at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium. Kickoff is 1:00 p.m.

The game will not be televised.

Last Week: The Cavaliers defeated Duke 24-0 in Durham, N.C., while San Jose State downed New Mexico 37-20 at home.

In the Polls: Virginia moves to 10th in The Associated Press poll this week, up from 11th a week ago. The Cavaliers move up to ninth (from 10th) in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

The Series vs. San Jose State: This is the first game between Virginia and San Jose State in a match-up that features several other firsts.

This is the first time the Cavaliers have hosted a team from California, the first time they have hosted a team from the WAC and the first time they have played a regular season game against a WAC team.

Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WQMZ in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Frank Quayle, the 1968 ACC Football Player of the Year, provides the color commentary, while former UVa signal caller Mike Groh provides sideline analysis and conducts the postgame interviews.

1998 Schedule & Results

S. 3    at Auburn           W   19-0S. 12   Maryland            W   31-19S. 19   Clemson             W   20-18S. 26   at Duke             W   24-0O. 3    San Jose State      1:00 p.m.O. 17   at Georgia Tech     TBAO. 24   N.C. State          TBAO. 31   at Wake Forest      TBAN. 7    at Florida State    TBAN. 14   North Carolina      TBAN. 28   at Virginia Tech    TBA (ESPN)

The Series vs. San Jose State
The Cavaliers go outside of their usual playing area to host San Jose State in Virginia’s annual Homecoming game. The game is the first meeting between the two schools.

The Virginia program has played several teams outside its normal geographic region in the 1990s. So far this decade the Wahoos have faced Auburn, Central Michigan, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

This is the third year in a row the Cavaliers have played a first-time opponent. In 1996 it was Central Michigan, while last season it was Auburn.

San Jose State is the 44th different NCAA Division I-A program the Cavaliers have faced in their history.

Of the 54 different Division I teams that San Jose State has played in its football history (dating back to 1893), Virginia has played only seven. The seven are Brigham Young, Central Michigan, Florida, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Miami (Ohio), and Washington.

Off to Good Start
The Cavaliers look to run their record to 5-0 this week against San Jose State. If the Cavaliers defeat the Spartans it would mark their best start since a 5-0 start in 1993.

Virginia won its third consecutive ACC game last Saturday at Duke. The victory marks the first time UVa has won its first three conference games since the 1995 squad began with a 4-0 league mark en route to a 7-1 conference mark and a share of the league championship.

Five was His Number Saturday
All-America safety Anthony Poindexter wears uniform number three, but against Duke last Saturday his most significant number was five.

Virginia had eight takeaways (five fumbles, three interceptions) against the Blue Devils, one shy of the school record. Of Duke’s eight turnovers, Poindexter played a role in five. He intercepted two passes, the second multi-interception game of his career, caused a fumble (recovered by linebacker Donny Green) and tied a school record with two fumble recoveries.

No UVa records exist for most turnovers in a game a defensive player has had a role in, but it’s safe to say Poindexter’s performance against Duke is an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Of his 19 career turnovers (including fumbles recovered and interceptions) and his five blocked punts (including two in bowl games), 14 have led to UVa touchdowns and another to a field goal.

Poindexter leads the team in several defensive categories this season. The list is below.

Category        #   rankTackles         47  1stInterceptions   3   1stPBU             4   1stFum. Recovered  2   T1stFum. Caused     2   T1stQBS             2   T2ndTFL             4   T2nd

Third Down Inefficiency
The Cavaliers have had difficulty converting on third down this season, converting just 29.1 percent (16 of 55) of their third down situations. They rank sixth in the ACC.

Their best outing in this category was a four for 11 performance (.364) against Maryland.

UVa has converted just four third down situations in each game this season.

Last season Virginia’s success in third down conversions was a contributing factor in two late season winsoGeorgia Tech 88.9 percent and Virginia Tech 50.0 percent.

Virginia converted 38.1 percent of its third down situations last season.

Brooks Sets School Record for 300-Yard Games
Quarterback Aaron Brooks passed for a season-high 310 yards in Virginia’s dramatic 20-18 win over Clemson two weeks ago.

It was the fourth 300-yard game of his career, the most in school history. Mike Groh with three is the only other quarterback in school history with more than two 300-yard games.

Brooks’ performance against Clemson is the 10th-highest total in school history. His 390 yards in last season’s final game against Virginia Tech is the school record.

Brooks also set the school record for most yards passing by a quarterback in his first start with 305 yards against Auburn in the 1997 opener.

Final Minute Wins

The Cavaliers’ 20-18 win over Clemson two weeks ago is their ninth win under head coach George Welsh gained in a game’s final minute.

Todd Braverman’s 30-yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner for the Cavaliers over the Tigers.

Braverman is the first UVa place-kicker since Jake McInerney in 1989 to give the Cavaliers a victory with a come-from-behind field goal.

UVa’s final minute wins under Welsh are outlined below.

Year    Opponent        Winning Play    Time Left1998    Clemson         Braverman 30 FG     0:491996    North Carolina  Garcia  32 FG       0:391995    Georgia         Allen 83 KO return  0:571995    N.C. State      T. Barber 1 rush    0:131994    Clemson         Garcia 19 FG        0:261989    Louisville      McInerney 37 FG     0:001988    Georgia Tech    Inderlied 35 FG     0:091987    North Carolina  Mattioli 9 pass     0:301986    Wake Forest     Gaffney 36 FG       0:56

Jones Goes Over 1000 Career Yards
Junior tailback Thomas Jones has rushed for 1230 yards in his career and is the second-leading active rusher in the ACC this season (behind Georgia Tech’s Charles Wiley, 1389 yards). They are joined by Wake Forest’s Morgan Kane (1213 yards) as the only active ACC players with 1000 career rushing yards.

Jones eclipsed the 1000-yard career rushing mark against Maryland earlier this season. His 1230 yards rushing rank 27th in school history.

With continued good outings, he should make a rapid ascent on Virginia’s career rushing list in the upcoming weeks.

His place on UVa’s all-time rushing list is below.

        Player          Att. Yds. Avg.  TD    21. Kevin Morgan    329 1504  4.6   5    22. Charles Way     274 1330  4.9   20    23. Durwin Greggs   298 1324  4.4   11    24. Shawn Moore     415 1268  3.1   28    25. Jim Lacey       273 1259  4.6   9    26. Gerry Furst     243 1249  5.1   14    27. Thomas Jones    311 1230  4.0   11

Sacks Determine Game’s Outcome
The Virginia defense is third in the ACC in quarterback sacks, averaging 3.0 per game (12 in four games).

The Cavaliers got to Maryland’s Ken Mastrole six times three weeks ago, their highest total this season.

Virginia’s ability to sack the quarterback is a good barometer for predicting the outcome of the game.

Under head coach George Welsh, the Cavaliers have never lost when recording at least five quarterback sacks. They are 19-0 since 1982. Unfortunately sack records prior to 1982 are incomplete.

Wilkins Leads Receiving Corps
As the most experienced member of the Virginia receiving corps, it should come as no surprise that Terrence Wilkins is Virginia’s leading receiver this season. He has caught 13 passes for 189 yards (14.5 avg.).

Wilkins paced the Cavalier receivers with four catches (for 38 yards) against Duke last week. Two of his four receptions went for first downs.

He has 873 career receiving yards, leaving him 127 yards short of becoming the 20th Cavalier to have 1000 career receiving yards.

Womack Smokin’ Along Tobacco Road
Tailback Antwoine Womack rushed for a career-high 119 yards last Saturday against Duke. It was his first 100-yard game of the season and almost equalled his total going into the game.

The sophomore from Hampton, Va., seems to like strutting his stuff along Tobacco Road since both of his 100-yard games have occurred in North Carolina. Last season at North Carolina he rushed for 108 yards against a vaunted Tar Heel defense.

Womack made Duke pay for one of its eight turnovers by scooting 48 yards for his first career touchdown. In the fourth quarter alone he rushed six times for 105 yards.

Womack is fifth in the ACC in rushing this season (62.8 avg.). With Thomas Jones (third), Virginia is the only ACC team to have two of the league’s top-five rushers.

Brooks Moves Up Career Lists
Quarterback Aaron Brooks should make steady progress up virtually every passing category in the Virginia record book this season.

He has tossed 25 touchdown passes in his career, fourth on UVa’s all-time list.

His 3719 yards passing are fifth all-time in school history. He needs 183 yards to pass Don Majkowski for fourth place.

Brooks has completed 55.1 percent of his passes (267 of 485), and is seventh in completion percentage.

He is fifth in career completions (20 away from fourth place) and sixth in attempts (14 away from fifth place).

Brooks passed for at least 200 yards in the six games leading up to last week’s game against Duke, the longest streak in school history. He had his streak snapped as he passed for 165 yards vs. the Blue Devils.

Completing Less Than 50 Percent
None of Virginia’s four opponents this season have managed to complete more than half its passes.

Auburn, Maryland and Duke finished under 50 percent for the game, while Clemson completed exactly half its pass attempts (12 of 24).

So far this season Virginia’s opponents have completed 47.7 percent of their passes (52 of 109). Virginia’s pass defense ranks 22nd nationally in completion percentage.

Turnovers Propel UVa to Early Victories
Three of Virginia’s four wins this season can be traced to the Cavaliers’ success in making the opposition pay for their turnovers.

Anthony Poindexter’s second quarter interception in the season opener against Auburn set up UVa’s first touchdown drive. The resulting touchdown proved to be all UVa needed in a 19-0 win.

Against Maryland in the next game, the defense recovered two fumbles and intercepted a pass that added up to 10 points for UVa.

The Cavaliers answered a Maryland field goal with a two-yard touchdown run by Tyree Foreman early in the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, reserve defensive back Duane Fisher knocked the ball from Cliff Crosby. Jason Small recovered the ball for Virginia on the Maryland 29-yard line. Two plays later Aaron Brooks hit Kevin Coffey for a scoring strike as the Cavaliers capitalized on the Maryland miscue.

Late in the second quarter Maryland drove deep into Virginia territory, but had a pass intercepted by Byron Thweatt at the Virginia five-yard line. The Cavaliers ended up punting, but the interception snuffed a potential scoring opportunity for the Terrapins.

Maryland’s turnover troubles continued in the final two minutes of the second quarter. Poindexter sacked quarterback Ken Mastrole, causing a fumble that was recovered by Wali Rainer. The Cavaliers kicked a field goal with 18 seconds left to take a 17-3 halftime lead.

Virginia dodged a bullet against Clemson two weeks ago as Todd Braverman kicked a 30-yard field goal in the final minute to give the Cavaliers a 20-18 win.

The Cavaliers were particularly judicious with their play in the first two games, committing a total of just two turnovers. Against Clemson, though, Virginia committed two turnovers that almost spelled doom for the Cavaliers.

Last Saturday against Duke, the Blue Devils killed any chance for an upset by committing eight turnovers (five fumbles, three interceptions) and the Cavaliers converted the turnovers into two touchdowns in a 24-0 win.

Virginia held a slim 3-0 lead late in the third quarter before a Poindexter fumble recovery set up Aaron Brooks’ 57-yard touchdown scamper to push the lead to 10-0.

Virginia added an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter as Maurice Anderson’s fumble recovery set up a 48-yard touchdown run by Antwoine Womack for the game’s final score.

Welsh Sixth Winningest Active Coach
Virginia head coach George Welsh, recently tabbed by The Sporting News as the best coach in the country, is sixth in wins among active coaches, one ahead of Ohio State’s John Cooper.

Welsh has won 171 games in a 26-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present). He is tied for 36th in NCAA Division I-A history in wins (with Wallace Wade).

The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to win at least 100 games. He has a 116-72-3 record in 17 seasons at Virginia. His 72 wins in conference games is also a record.

Virginia Back in the Top 10
After falling one spot to 11th in last week’s Associated Press poll, the Cavaliers have moved back to 10th in this week’s poll. They were undoubtedly helped by Washington’s 55-7 loss to Nebraska as the Huskies dropped out of the top 10.

Virginia also moved up to ninth in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll this week.

The Cavaliers’ #10 ranking in The Associated Press poll marks the second time this season they have been ranked 10th. They were 10th two weeks ago before falling to 11th last week.

When Virginia was ranked 10th in the September 14 AP poll, Florida State was ranked 11th. That poll marks the only time since Florida State joined the ACC that the Seminoles weren’t the highest ranked ACC team.

The Cavaliers’ ranking week by week is below.

Date        AP  USA Today/ESPNPreseason   16      19Sept. 7     12      12Sept. 14    10      10Sept. 21    11      10Sept. 28    10      9

Braverman Provides Last Minute Heroics
Place-kicker Todd Braverman joins punter Donnie Scott as first-time performers for UVa this season. Braverman won the kicking chores for field goals and extra points over David Greene in a competition that went right down to the wire.

He had a tough start to his career by hitting an upright with the first extra point attempt of his career against Auburn in the season opener.

Since then, he’s been good on 10 consecutive extra points, while making six of seven field goal attempts.

He etched his name in Virginia lore against Clemson two weeks ago. He kicked a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter to give UVa a 17-3 lead.

He didn’t have an opportunity to make another contribution until the game’s final minute as the Cavaliers went scoreless for nearly 45 minutes.

Aided by two penalties on the Clemson defense, the Cavaliers worked into field goal position trailing 18-17 in the game’s final minute. A run by Thomas Jones to the Clemson 12-yard line set the stage for Braverman’s last minute heroics.

With just 49 seconds remaining, Braverman’s opportunity to shine arrived. Holder Will Thompson gave the Cavalier place-kicker a good hold as Braverman drove home the winning kick from 30 yards out.

He was named the ACC Specialist of the Week for his role in Virginia’s win over Clemson.

Through four games this season, Braverman has made six field goals (vs. eight for UVa all last season). He is tied for 14th in the nation (and third in the ACC) in field goals made per game this season.

He also leads the team in scoring with 28 points.

Brooks’ Game-Breaking Run Spells Difference
Quarterback Aaron Brooks used a torrid final month to lead the ACC in passing last season.

He led the ACC in passing this season leading up to last Saturday’s Duke game. But he had his first rough outing in quite some time against the Blue Devils and dropped to third in the league in passing.

Brooks completed 13 of 35 passes for a season-low 165 yards and one interception. His interception was the first of the year and ended a streak of 166 consecutive passes without an interception.

Duke consistently put eight (or more) men in the box and blitzed, hoping to take Brooks out of his rhythm.

The Blue Devils’ strategy worked for almost three quarters before Brooks made them pay. Late in the third quarter he scrambled 57 yards for a touchdown on a failed pass play as the Cavaliers took a 10-0 lead.

Following a long punt return, UVa scored another touchdown one minute later to build a more comfortable lead.

Brooks’ scramble to paydirt was reminiscent of a 25-yard touchdown scamper vs. Wake Forest last season that broke open a tight contest.

He threw a career-high three interceptions against Duke in the sixth game last season and has thrown only three interceptions since (a span of 242 attempts).

A look at Brooks’ performance in his last eight games is below.

Opp.           Att.Comp. Pct. Yds.  TD  Int.e97 Maryland    16  11  .688  145   3   0e97 Ga. Tech    26  19  .731  308   4   1e97 N.C. State  26  13  .500  222   3   0e97 Va. Tech    34  23  .676  390   4   0e98 Auburn      28  16  .571  220   1   0e98 Maryland    26  16  .615  225   2   0e98 Clemson     35  21  .600  310   1   0e98 Duke        35  13  .371  165   0   1

Coffey Making the Big Play
Wide receiver Kevin Coffey hasn’t caught a lot of passes in his brief career (13 receptions), but he has made the most of his opportunities, scoring four touchdowns.

He caught four passes last season, including a touchdown grab against Maryland on his first career reception. He also had a big 20-yard reception against Georgia Tech during a third quarter touchdown drive.

This season Coffey has caught nine passes for a team-leading 226 yards (25.1 avg.) and three touchdowns. His three touchdown receptions are tied for third in the ACC.

Coffey teamed with Aaron Brooks for a 61-yard touchdown play in the opener against Auburn. The touchdown proved to be the game-winner in a 19-0 UVa win.

He hauled in another Brooks scoring strike against Maryland, this time for 29 yards in the second quarter.

The touchdowns continued against Clemson as he pulled in a 20-yard scoring pass from Brooks in the first quarter. He led the team with four receptions for 66 yards and one touchdown against the Tigers.

He didn’t score vs. Duke last week, but both of his receptions went for first downs.

Scott Booms Three 60-Yard Punts
Coming into this season, one of head coach George Welsh’s main concerns centered around the kicking game. No player on the Virginia roster had ever punted or kicked in a collegiate game prior to this season.

Donnie Scott won the punting job over Mike Abrams in a fierce preseason competition and his performance so far has helped allay some of Welsh’s fears.

Scott kicked the first punt of his career 55 yards in the season opener at Auburn in front of a crowd of nearly 80,000. He coolly dropped his second punt in that game at the Auburn one-yard line. For the game he averaged 38.5 yards on six punts.

He averaged 47.5 yards on six punts against Maryland. Scott buried two punts inside the 20-yard line against the Terrapins and set off a rocket of a punt of 66 yards (that carried approximately 88 yards off his foot before landing deep in the end zone).

His 66-yard boomer has been topped only 13 times in school history and is Virginia’s longest punt since Will Brice nailed a 67-yarder in 1996.

He had a 61-yard punt against Clemson two weeks ago and a 63-yarder against Duke last Saturday.

Scott joins Will Brice (1996) as the only punters in school history with a 60-yard punt in three consecutive games. No UVa punter has had a 60-yarder in four consecutive games.

He is averaging 43.0 yards per punt (29 punts) this season, with eight over 50 yards (including three of 60+) and 10 inside the 20-yard line.

Jones Reaches Century Mark Twice So Far
Tailback Thomas Jones is the ACC’s leading returning rusher this season. He rushed for 692 yards last season to lead the team and rank fourth in the ACC.

So far this season he ranks third in the ACC, averaging 83.3 yards per game. Jones is tied for the league lead with four rushing touchdowns.

After an offseason in which he gained strength while maintaining his speed, he is off to a good start this season. He has carried the ball 74 times for 333 yards (4.5 avg.) and four touchdowns.

In the opener against #25 Auburn, Jones rushed for 100 yards on 21 carries (4.8 avg.) and scored an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Jones had 32 yards in the first half and seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. With the score close in the second half, he rushed 16 times for 68 yards as UVa controlled the ball for more than 20 minutes in the second half.

He paced the Virginia ground game with 78 yards and one touchdown against Maryland three weeks ago as the Terrapins stacked the line to stop the run.

In the last minute win over Clemson two weeks ago, Jones rushed for a career-high 118 yards and scored once from 31 yards out.

Going back to the last game of last season, Jones has reached the century mark in three of the last five contests (and both of his non-conference games).

Spreading the Wealth
Quarterback Aaron Brooks passed for a season-high 310 yards against Clemson two weeks ago.

He completed 21 of 35 passes and got almost everyone involved in the passing game, completing passes to 10 different players.

So far this season Brooks has completed a pass to 14 different receivers (not counting the pass he completed to himself).

As a point of reference, Brooks completed passes to 13 different players all of last season.

He has completed 32 passes to wide receivers, 18 to running backs and 15 to the tight ends.

A breakdown of receptions by player and position is below.

    Wide Receiver   Running Back    Tight End    Wilkins 13      T. Jones 10     Baber 9    Coffey 9        Foreman 4       C. Crawford 4    Hawkins 5       Washington 2    Luzar 2    Dotson 3        Southern 1    J. Johnson 1    Womack 1    T. Johnson 1    

New Starters Every Week
With 14 returning starters from a year ago, Virginia’s starting line-up didn’t figure to feature many new faces. But seven players, including both kicking specialists, made their first career start against Auburn on September 3. Four of the seven were playing in a college game for the first time in their careers.

As injuries have taken their toll on the Cavaliers this season, the newcomers parade has continued each week.

Against Auburn, first time starters included defensive tackle Kofi Bawuah, place-kicker Todd Braverman, wide receiver Kevin Coffey, offensive tackle Josh Lawson, punter Donnie Scott, fullback Anthony Southern and cornerback Tim Spruill.

George Seals made his first career start at center against Maryland in place of an injured John St. Clair.

Against Clemson, the Cavaliers used first-time starters Tyree Foreman at fullback and Monsanto Pope at defensive tackle.

Andreas Karelis started for the first time in his career last Saturday against Duke. He replaced Travis Griffith, who sat out the game with an injury.

Rainer, Thweatt Named to Butkus Award List
Linebackers Wali Rainer and Byron Thweatt are among 68 players named to the initial list of candidates for the 1998 Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation’s outstanding linebacker by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando (Fla.).

The list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on October 15 and the three finalists will be announced on November 12. The winner of the Butkus Award will be announced on December 11.

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