Undefeated Football Has Week Off
October 6, 1998
Cavaliers Off This Week
Virginia is off this week following last Saturdays 52-14 win over San Jose State. The Cavaliers travel to Atlanta for a key Atlantic Coast Conference contest against Georgia Tech. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised regionally by ABC.
Offense Gets Cranked Up vs. San Jose State
After battling inconsistency in the first four games, the Virginia offense put together its best game of the season in a 52-14 win over San Jose State last Saturday.
The Cavaliers rushed for 446 yards in their best performance in 30 years. Tailback Thomas Jones led the way with a career-high 203 yards (on 23 carries) and two touchdowns. Tailback Antwoine Womack also had a career high with 142 yards (17 carries) and one touchdown. Quarterback Aaron Brooks rushed 10 times for 71 yards and scored twice. Tailback Tyree Foreman added the Cavaliers final touchdown as Virginia scored six times on the ground.
With the ground game churning out yardage, the Cavaliers didnt really have to pass much. Brooks completed eight of 15 passes for 80 yards and one touchdown. His back-up, Dan Ellis, played most of the fourth quarter and led the offense on a 62-yard drive for the final touchdown. Ellis completed two of five passes for 30 yards.
The offense started slowly vs. the Spartans. The Cavaliers took the opening kickoff and marched downfield. They had the ball on the San Jose State seven-yard line, but Brooks threw an interception in the end zone to kill the drive.
Following a botched San Jose State punt, the offense was in good position again. Three plays worked the ball from the six-yard line to the three before Todd Braverman kicked a 20-yard field goal to put the Cavaliers on the board first.
From there the offense scored touchdowns on six of its next seven possessions to put the game out of reach with a 45-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Off to Good Start
The Cavaliers are off to their best start in five years. The 1993 squad began with a 5-0 record before suffering its first defeat. The last time Virginia started 6-0 or better was 1990. That season the Cavaliers began 7-0 before losing a 41-38 heartbreaker to Georgia Tech in Charlottesville.
This is the 12th time in school history Virginia has started 5-0. The best start in school history is a 7-0 start (in 1945, 49, and 90).
Virginia Moves Up in Polls
Losses by LSU and Penn State bump the Cavaliers up one spot in both polls this week (although they were leapfrogged by Georgia). Virginia is ninth in this weeks Associated Press poll and eighth in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.
Welsh Sets Another ACC Coaching Record
Virginia head coach George Welsh coached his 192nd game for the Cavaliers last Saturday against San Jose State and set an ACC record for most games coached.
Bill Dooley coached 191 games at North Carolina (124 games from 1967-77) and Wake Forest (67 games from 1987-92).
Welsh already holds the ACC records for most wins (117) and most ACC wins (72), and he is tied for most seasons coached (17).
The upcoming Georgia Tech game is Welshs 295th career game, tied for 25th in NCAA Division I-A history (with Frank Howard of Clemson). Only five other active coaches have coached more games than Welsh.
Jones Leads ACC in Rushing
Tailback Thomas Jones darted for a career-high 203 yards rushing against San Jose State last Saturday and is the leading rusher in the ACC. Jones is averaging 107.2 yards per game on the ground this season. He has rushed for 536 yards and is nearing his total from last season of 692 yards.
His 203 yards on the ground is an ACC high this season (and tied for ninth most in school history). The game marked his third 100-yard game of the season, which also leads the league this season.
Against the visiting Spartans, Jones highlighted his afternoon by bolting 80 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The run, tied for the fourth-longest in school history, is the longest run in the ACC this season.
Jones scored twice on Saturday and has reached the end zone in every game this season. His six rushing touchdowns in 1998 lead the ACC.Going back to the last game of last season, Jones has reached the century mark in four of the last six contests. He has six 100-yard games in his career. Virginia is undefeated when he rushes for at least 100 yards.
Womack Complements Jones in Backfield
Reserve tailback Antwoine Womacks emergence this season as a punishing ballcarrier has given starter Thomas Jones an opportunity to take a break during games. It has also given the Cavaliers a dimension head coach George Welsh likes, but hasnt had recently-two backs to carry the load.
A speedy back who was slowed by injury for most of last season as a true freshman, Womack has topped the century mark in the last two games. Against Duke he rushed for 119 yards (then a career high) on just 10 carries. He scored the first touchdown of his career by scampering 48 yards late in the game.
He topped that performance last Saturday against San Jose State by picking up 142 yards on 17 carries. He scored once (from 13 yards out).Womack is third in the ACC in rushing, averaging 78.6 yards per game. He is also averaging a gaudy 7.1 yards per carry, tops in the league among players with at least 20 carries.
With two 100-yard games this season, Womack is second in the league (behind Jones three).
Poindexter Leads Defense Again
All-American safety Anthony Poindexter continues to build on his reputation as one of the nations top defensive players. Last Saturday against San Jose State, he led the Cavaliers with 11 tackles. That marked the third time this season hes made at least 10 tackles (and the third time hes led the team in tackles). He tied a career high with 19 stops against Maryland last month.
A game-breaker, Poindexter leads the team in several categories this season-tackles (58), interceptions (3), passes broken up (4), fumbles recovered (2) and fumbles caused (2). He has also been in on three quarterback sacks and two other tackles behind the line of scrimmage. His three quarterback sacks are the most ever by a Virginia defensive back.
Poindexter was a one-man wrecking crew two weeks ago against Duke. Virginia had eight takeaways (five fumbles, three interceptions) against the Blue Devils, one shy of the school record. Of Dukes 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 a role in, but its safe to say Poindexters performance against Duke is an exceedingly rare occurrence.
Of his 20 career turnovers (including fumbles recovered and interceptions) and his four blocked punts (including one in a bowl game), 14 have led to UVa touchdowns and another to a field goal.He has had an interception, caused a fumble, recovered a fumble or blocked a punt in 19 of the 40 games hes played in during his Virginia career.
Poindexter is tied for fifth in school history with 12 interceptions. He has 327 career tackles, sixth in school history (and sixth among defensive backs in ACC history).
Welsh Sixth Winningest Active Coach
Virginia head coach George Welsh, tabbed by The Sporting News as the best coach in the country, is sixth in wins among active coaches, one ahead of Ohio States John Cooper.
Welsh has won 172 games in a 26-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present). He is tied for 35th in NCAA Division I-A history in wins (with Dan Devine).
The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to win at least 100 games. He has a 117-72-3 record in 17 seasons at Virginia. His 72 wins in conference games is also a record.
Cavaliers Face Georgia Tech After Week Off
The Cavaliers are off this wee