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Nov. 1, 1999

Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
Nov. 6, 1999 * 3:30 p.m.
Charlottesville, Va.

The Game: Virginia hosts a top-10 team for the second week in a row as #7Georgia Tech comes calling. The Cavaliers have lost their last three homegames, including two to teams ranked in the top-five, and are now 4-4overall and 3-3 in the ACC. They fell to top-ranked Florida State 35-10last Saturday.

Tailback Thomas Jones continues to put together some eye-poppingperformances and leads the nation in rushing at 159.1 ypg. He scooted for164 yards and a touchdown vs. the Seminoles last week and passed TikiBarber to become UVa’s all-time leading rusher.

The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the ACC this season. Theyhaven’t won in Charlottesville since their dramatic 41-38 win in 1990.

Television: The game is being televised regionally by ABC. Tim Brant callsthe play by play, while Dean Blevins is the color analyst. Chip Tarkentonis the sideline reporter.

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

The Series vs. the Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech holds a slim 11-9-1 record in one of the most thrilling seriesin ACC history. Virginia has had the upper hand in Charlottesville,however, posting a 4-2-1 record against the Yellow Jackets at the CarlSmith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.Overall the Cavaliers have won five of the last seven meetings vs. theYellow Jackets.

Virginia lost six and tied one of the the first seven games in the series,but has won nine of the last 14 meetings in what has to be the mostriveting series in recent ACC history.

Last season’s game was reminiscent of the epic battles between the twosquads in the late 80s and early 90s when four straight games were decidedby a touchdown or less. The Cavaliers had lost three consecutive gamesdecided by six points or less in the series (1990-91-96) until their wintwo years ago. Overall, Virginia has lost eight of 10 games in the seriesdecided by six points or less.

After winning four consecutive games convincingly in the middle part ofthis decade, the series has become a tight one again.

Last season’s contest was deja vu all over again as Yogi Berra would say.Eerily reminiscent of the epic 1990 game, Virginia jumped to a 38-17 thirdquarter lead, only to see the Yellow Jackets storm back with 24 unansweredpoints to win 41-38, the same score as in 1990.

The Cavalier offense churned out 600 yards of total offense, theeighth-best performance in school history, but couldn’t offset arecord-setting performance by Yellow Jacket receiver Dez White who caughtsix passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns.

Virginia’s 600 yards of total offense is the most in a loss in schoolhistory. Tailback Thomas Jones rushed for a season-high 207 yards andscored twice, but it was not enough for Virginia. The Cavaliers had achance to tie the game late, but Todd Braverman’s 54-yard field goalattempt fell just short.

The 1997 meeting, the most recent in Charlottesville, was also aback-and-forth affair. The lead see-sawed throughout the game as each teamanswered the others’ scores. The Cavaliers scored last as AnthonySouthern’s one-yard plunge with 1:16 remaining proved to be the winningscore.

Head coach George Welsh owns all nine of Virginia’s wins over Georgia Tech.

Back-to-Back Top 10 Opponents
Georgia Tech, ranked seventh in this week’s Associated Press poll, followson the heels of top-ranked Florida State’s visit to Charlottesville. Thisstretch marks the first time in school history the Cavaliers have playedconsecutive games against teams ranked in the top 10. About the closestVirginia has ever come to this occurred in 1993 when UVa played #1 FloridaState and #12 North Carolina on back-to-back weekends.

This is the 16th game in school history against teams ranked in The APtop-10 since the first poll in 1936.

The first top-10 team to come to Charlottesville was #2 North CarolinaPre-Flight in 1944. That team, made up of collegians preparing for WorldWar II, included former Cleveland Brown great Otto Graham. Virginia battledthe visitors to a 13-13 tie.

This is the 12th time in ACC history that a team has played back-to-backgames vs. top-10 teams during the regular season. Georgia Tech is the mostrecent school to do it. The Yellow Jackets defeated #7 Virginia and lost to#6 Florida State (both in Atlanta) in consecutive weeks last season.A look at Virginia’s home games against top-10 opponents is below.

Year Opp. & rank Result
1944 #2 North Carolina Pre-Flight Tie 13-13
1947 #4 Penn Penn 19-7
1948 #4 No. Carolina UNC 34-12
1952 #6 Duke Duke 21-7
1957 #9 Army Army 20-12
1959 #5 Clemson Clemson 47-0
1967 #4 N.C. State NCSU 30-8
1976 #6 Maryland Md. 28-0
1984 #3 Clemson Clemson 55-0
1990 #9 Clemson UVa 20-7
1992 #6 Fla. State FSU 13-3
1995 #2 Fla. State UVa 33-28
1996 #6 No. Carolina UVa 20-17
1997 #3 Fla. State FSU 47-21
1999 #1 Fla. State FSU 35-10

UVa Defense Slows Tech Ground Game
Virginia’s ability to hold the Georgia Tech rushing attack in check hasbeen one of the factors enabling the Cavaliers to win five of the lastseven meetings against the Yellow Jackets.Since Rick Lantz came to Charlottesville as UVa’s defensive coordinator in1991, the Yellow Jackets have rushed for more than 150 yards once (312 in1991).

No Georgia Tech runner has rushed for at least 100 yards against UVa sinceJimy Lincoln gained 229 in 1991.

Since 1992, Georgia Tech is averaging just 102.7 yards rushing per game and2.9 yards per carry. In an odd twist, the Yellow Jackets have won the lasttwo games (both in Atlanta) when they failed to rush for at least 100 yards.Here’s a look at Georgia Tech’s ground game against UVa since Rick Lantzjoined the Virginia staff.

Year Att. Net Yds. Avg. TD
1991 55 312* 5.7 2
1992 33 102 3.1 0
1993 31 149 4.8 1
1994 32 19 0.6 0
1995 42 150 3.6 1
1996 40 95 2.4 1
1997 44 121 2.8 3
1998 29 83 2.9 0
Total 306 1031 3.4 8

* fifth-highest total allowed by UVa since 1991

Georgia Tech Uses Field Goals to Sink Virginia
Georgia Tech has kicked nine field goals vs. Virginia in the 1990s and fiveof them have decided games.

The Yellow Jackets won the 1990 and 1991 contests with last second fieldgoals, while three years ago the Jackets connected on two field goals andwon by six points. Last year Georgia Tech booted two field goals and won bythree points.

Conversely, Virginia has kicked only two field goals in the last five meetings.

Tight Games or Routs-No Middle Ground
Virginia and Georgia Tech have met in some of the most classic battles inACC history. Since the Yellow Jackets’ first season of ACC play in 1983,the teams have met 16 times and more than half of the games have beendecided by seven points or less (nine of 16).

Since 1983, the series has featured one tie and other games decided by onepoint, three points (three games), four points (two games), six points andseven points.

Curiously, the Cavaliers put together a four-game winning streak earlierthis decade in decisive fashion, winning each game by more than 16 points.Of the last 16 meetings, only three have been decided by eight to 16 points.

Jones Leads Nation in Rushing
Heisman Trophy candidate Thomas Jones is putting together one of the bestseasons in school history in 1999. He leads the country in rushing,averaging 159.1 yards per game (1273 yards in eight games).He reached the 1000-yard mark in just seven games, joining John Papit(1949) as the only players to get to 1000 yards in seven games.

Jones’ 1273 yards are already fourth-most in a season in school history and10th in ACC history and he still has three games left to play.Not surprisingly, Jones has been the game’s leading rusher in every gamefor Virginia this season.

He has been at at his best lately. He carried the ball a school-record 38times for a career-high 221 yards and three touchdowns in UVa’s 47-26 winover N.C. State last month.

The 221 yards proved to be a milestone as it was the fourth 200-yard gameof his career-an ACC record. He also tied the ACC record with his second200-yard game of the season.

Despite Virginia’s loss to top-ranked Florida State last week, Jones provedto a national television audience who the best back in the country reallyis. He rushed for 164 yards against a Seminole defense that was allowingjust 86.0 yards rushing coming into the game.His 164 yards vs. the Seminoles are the most they have allowed since UVa’sTiki Barber rushed for 193 yards in 1995, a span of 50 games.

Jones Shows Up Every DayDespite leading the ACC in rushing by nearly 400 yards and standing as thethird-leading returning rusher in the nation this season, Thomas Jonesfails to get the attention he deserves.He ran for 1303 yards last season, the eighth-highest total in ACC history,and tied the ACC record with two 200-yard games.And the player with the common name continues to display his uncommonabilities.

Jones leads the nation in rushing, with a 159.1 yards per game average ashe threatens the ACC single-season rushing mark of 1720 yards by NorthCarolina’s Don McCauley in 1970.

In his third year as the starting tailback, perhaps it’s important to alsonote his durability. A testament to his offseason work ethic, Jones has notmissed a game in his career, while starting the last 31 at tailback.He made the 31st consecutive start of his career last week against FloridaState to add to his list of school records- most consecutive starts by atailback. Terry Kirby got the starting nod 30 straight games from 1990-92and held the previous record.

Just as amazing as his streak of consecutive starts is the fact that Joneshas never missed so much as a practice during his career at Virginia.

Jones Fourth and Climbing
As his career at Virginia was coming to a close in 1996, Virginia’sall-time leading rusher, Tiki Barber, mentioned that Thomas Jones (then atrue freshman) would be the one to break his records. Barber seems to bevery prescient regarding the performance of the player who was hisunderstudy three years ago.

Jones, who has 1273 yards rushing this season, is one of just eight playersin school history to top the 1000-yard plateau. (Virginia has had 111000-yard seasons-Jones, Barber and Terry Kirby each had two.)His 1273 yards this season is already fourth in school history and he hasthree games yet to play in his quest to set UVa’s single-season rushingrecord.

Barber currently holds the record with 1397 yards in 1995 when he played in12 games. (Barber also holds the 11-game record with 1360 yards in 1996.)Jones, who needs just 125 yards to set the single-season record, has toaverage 41.7 yards per game the rest of the way to eclipse Barber.

Perhaps it’s fitting that Jones and Barber are the only players in schoolhistory to put together back-to-back 1000-yard seasons. (Terry Kirby hadtwo 1000-yard seasons but they weren’t consecutive.)

Jones is also averaging 159.1 yards rushing per game this season, tops inthe nation. If he can keep up this pace he will eclipse the ACCsingle-season record currently held by former North Carolina star DonMcCauley. McCauley rushed for 1720 yards and averaged 156.4 ypg in 1970.Below is the list of all 1000-yard rushers in UVa history.

Player, year Yards Rushing
1. Tiki Barber, 1995 1397
2. Tiki Barber, 1996 1360
3. Thomas Jones, 1998 1303
4. Thomas Jones, 1999 1273
5. Barry Word, 1985 1224
6. John Papit, 1949 1214
7. Frank Quayle, 1968 1213
8. Terry Kirby, 1992 1130
9. Marcus Wilson, 1989 1098
10. Tommy Vigorito, 1979 1045
11. Terry Kirby, 1990 1020

Greene Sends Kickoffs to the End Zone
For the second year in a row, David Greene is handling the kick-off dutiesfor the Cavaliers, while Todd Braverman is the kicker for field goals andextra points.

Greene possesses the stronger leg, which makes him the ideal kick-off man.Last season in his first action, he did all the kicking off. In 59 kickoffshe had 14 touchbacks, while typically placing the ball deep.

Building on a fine finish to last season, Greene has boomed 27 of 39kickoffs this season into the endzone, resulting in 15 touchbacks. Theopponents are averaging 21.9 yards per return against UVa’s kickoffcoverage team.

McMullen Puts Publicity Gnomes to Work
True freshman wide receiver Billy McMullen had two touchdown catches inUVa’s 47-26 win over N.C. State recently. He led the team with 109 yardsreceiving (a career high), while his four receptions tied Ahmad Hawkins forteam honors.

McMullen’s performance sent the publicity gnomes of the University ofVirginia athletic media relations office scrambling to find out how thatcompared with the performances of other true freshmen in UVa history (or atleast going back through available records to 1940).

Research has concluded that McMullen is only the fourth true freshman tocatch two TD passes in a game for Virginia. The others are Germane Crowellvs. Florida State in 1994 (his first college game), Demetrius “Pete” Allenvs. Navy in 1992 and John Ford against VMI and Virginia Tech in 1984.Three other true freshmen have scored two touchdowns (all rushing) in onegame-quarterback Scott Gardner vs. VMI in 1972 (also his first collegegame), Antonio Rice vs. Georgia Tech in 1982 and Durwin Greggs vs. William& Mary in 1986.

McMullen leads the team with 272 yards receiving and is tied for secondwith 17 receptions (one behind leader Kevin Coffey).

Anderson Quietly Turning in Fabulous Year
As the oldest member of the defensive front, Maurice Anderson has used thewisdom that comes with age and experience to his advantage this season.He has turned in the best season of his career in 1999 despite a series ofnagging injuries that might sideline other players.

Throughout most of his career he has had to play behind more heraldedlinemen including Antonio Dingle, Patrick Kerney and Todd White, but thisseason he is showing what he can do.

Anderson began the year in fine fashion by leading Virginia in tackles forthe first time in his career with a career-high 10 stops vs. North Carolina.He turned in his second double-digit outing of the year against Duke with10 tackles.

Adept at plugging the middle of the line, Anderson has made at least seventackles in five games this season.

With two games of at least 10 tackles, he is the first UVa defensive tackleto have as many as two double-digit performances since Todd White had twoin 1995. He is also the first UVa defensive tackle to lead the team intackles in a game since White in 1994 and is the first Cavalier defensivetackle to lead twice in a season since at least 1989.

Anderson is third on the team with 51 tackles, far surpassing his previouscareer high of 31 in 1997. The 51 tackles are the most by a UVa defensivetackle since White had 77 in 1995.

Showing surprising athleticism for such a big man, Anderson has blocked twoextra point kicks this season.

Coffey’s Production Falls Off Recently
After turning in a fine season last year, when he caught 23 passes (25.4avg.) and a team-leading five touchdowns, wide receiver Kevin Coffey lookedforward to turning in a big year this season.

Quarterback Dan Ellis made his first career start In the season openeragainst North Carolina and frequently looked Coffey’s way. Coffey caughtfour passes for 101 yards (his second career 100-yard game) and onetouchdown. In addition to his touchdown grab (a 32-yarder), his other threereceptions all went for first downs.

He had four catches for 48 yards and one touchdown the following weekagainst Clemson, but since then his numbers have fallen off dramatically.Coffey has caught just 10 passes in the last six games, and is averaging10.7 yards per catch (well off his career average of 19.6 yards).His lone catch vs. Brigham Young was a 25-yard scoring reception as well ashis last touchdown.

Against Virginia Tech, featuring one of the nation’s top defenses, hecaught two passes for just 20 yards, while he had just two catches for 16yards in the overtime loss to Duke. He was held to one catch for 10 yardsby N.C. State and had an eight-yard reception for his only catch vs.Florida State.

Kiddie Corps Get Pickoffs
Virginia has intercepted 14 passes this season, including eight by freshmensafeties.

The safety tandem of Shernard Newby and Chris Williams (both red-shirtfreshmen) have teamed to intercept passes in the same game twice-NorthCarolina and Wake Forest. The North Carolina game was the first collegegame for both.

True freshman Jerton Evans intercepted a pass against Clemson in the secondgame of his brief college career and came back with two crucialinterceptions against Brigham Young to help lead UVa to the win.

Evans’ first interception vs. the Cougars came in the first quarter and setup UVa’s third touchdown in a 21-point first quarter, while his second pickcame in the end zone with 1:37 to play in the game that ended BYU’s hopesfor a comeback win.

Evans intercepted Florida State’s Chris Weinke late in the first quarterlast week for his fourth interception of the season, which ties the schoolrecord for most interceptions by a true freshman. Kevin Cook had four in1986.

Evans is also bidding to become just the second true freshman to lead theteam. Carl Smith (no relation to the former football player who gave thedonation to expand UVa’s football stadium) tied for the team lead with twoin 1991.

Overall Virginia is tied for seventh in the nation in interceptions.

Jones Pushes ACC All-Time Top-10
As his career at Virginia was coming to a close in 1996, Virginia’sall-time leading rusher, Tiki Barber, mentioned that Thomas Jones (then atrue freshman) would be the one to break his records. Barber seems to bevery prescient regarding the performance of the player who was hisunderstudy three years ago.

Jones rushed for 1303 yards last season, the third-highest single-seasonmark in school history (behind Barber’s two best seasons).So far this season Jones is turning in another big year. He has rushed for1273 yards, and has had six 100-yard performances (including two 200-yardefforts).

Jones now has 3473 career rushing yards, tops in school history and 12th inACC history.

Jones’ place on the ACC all-time rushing list is below.

Player, school Rush Yds.
7. Raymond Priester, Clemson 3717
8. Jerry Mays, Georgia Tech 3699
9. Leon Johnson, North Carolina 3642
10. Joe McIntosh, N.C. State 3642
11. Tremayne Stephens, N.C. State 3553
12. Thomas Jones, Virginia 3473

Isabelle Reaches Double Digits Four Times
Junior linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle gets better with each game as heattempts to fill the rather large shoes of current NFL starter Wali Rainerin the Cavalier defense.

Isabelle, who saw limited action in his first two seasons behind Rainer,led the Cavaliers with 14 tackles against Clemson early in the season. The14 tackles is a career high, topping the eight he had against Florida Stateas a freshman two years ago.

He paced the team against with 10 tackles against Wake Forest as Virginiaheld Morgan Kane, the nation’s leading rusher coming into the game, to just65 yards.

Putting up Rainer-like numbers, Isabelle’s 14 stops vs Brigham Young ledthe team for the third week in a row.

He did not play against Virginia Tech due to the death of his mother,Deberah, but returned vs. Duke to lead the team once again with 10 tackles.Isabelle missed reaching double figures against N.C. State, but still ledthe team with seven tackles.

A very smart player who is still learning on the job, Isabelle leads theteam with 64 tackles despite missing one game.A look at his game-by-game stats are below.

Solo Ast. TTL other
N. Carolina 2 1 3 PBU
Clemson 9* 5* 14* FR
W. Forest 7* 3 10*
BYU 7* 7* 14* hurry
Va. Tech DNP
Duke 5 5 10* QBS, hurry, PBU
N.C. State 4 3 7* FR
Fla. State 4 2 6 FC

* led team

Welsh Seventh Among Active Wins Leaders
Head coach George Welsh, tabbed last season by The Sporting News as thenation’s best coach, is ranked seventh in wins among active Division I-Acoaches.

Welsh has won 180 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia(1982-present), tied for 27th in NCAA Division I-A history.His overall career record is 180-125-4 (.589).

The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to winat least 100 games. He has a 125-79-3 record in 18 seasons at Virginia. His78 wins in ACC games is also a record.

A look at the winningest active coaches is below.

1. Joe Paterno, Penn State (34 years) 316 wins
2. Bobby Bowden, Fla. State (34) 301
3. LaVell Edwards, BYU (28) 250
4. Lou Holtz, So. Carolina (28) 216
5. Don Nehlen, West Va. (29) 194
6. John Cooper, Ohio State (23) 184
7. George Welsh, UVa (27) 180

Experienced Line Opens Holes for JonesHead coach George Welsh has always emphasized the need to have a strongrunning game and this year is no different.

Virginia features the nation’s top running back in Thomas Jones. Jones hasrushed for 1273 yards this season (159.1g), tops in the country.Leading the way for Jones is a battle-tested line that features threereturning starters and another player who started five games a year ago.Virginia’s top offensive lineman is left guard Noel LaMontagne. A seniortri-captain, LaMontagne is the most experienced lineman with 27 careerstarts under his belt.

Joining LaMontagne on the left side of the line is Josh Lawson, afirst-team All-Freshman by The Sporting News last season. However, Lawsondid not play vs. Florida State due to an injury and was replaced by JaredWoodson.

Second-team All-ACC John St. Clair is the center. One of the top (and mostunderrated) centers in the country, he is quietly molding himself into oneof the top center prospects available in the upcoming NFL draft.Sophomore Evan Routzahn, a starter in five games at left guard last season,has moved to right guard this season and is considered a very promisingplayer by Welsh. He is joined by junior Brad Barnes, the right tackle.Barnes saw limited action in his first two years, but has worked hard toforge his way into the line-up and is considered by Welsh the most improvedplayer on the offensive line. Barnes was selected the ACC Offensive Linemanof the Week for his play in UVa’s win over N.C. State.

Primary back-ups along the line include George Seals at center, Woodson atguard and Dustin Keith at tackle. Keith has also seen action at center.

Turnovers Important to Outcome
Virginia has been involved in several games this season that have beeninfluenced greatly by turnovers-both for and against UVa.The Cavaliers have had a tendency to compound their turnovers with a doublewhammy-turnovers in the red zone and an inability to prevent scores afterturnovers.

Dan Ellis threw three interceptions in the opener against North Carolina,two coming inside the red zone (including one returned 89 yards for atouchdown).

Against Clemson, Thomas Jones lost a fumble inside the Clemson 10-yard lineas UVa was attempting to cut into a 17-0 deficit in the second quarter.After having just two turnovers in the next three games, mistakes proved tobe the Cavaliers’ undoing in the overtime loss to Duke last month.An Arlen Harris punt return for a touchdown early in the game was broughtback due to a penalty.

On Duke’s next possession, Dwayne Stukes intercepted a pass to give UVa theball on Duke’s 44-yard line. Following a first down, Ellis had a passintercepted in the end zone to end that drive.

Punter Donnie Scott was unable to handle a bad snap in his end zone andtried to pass. The pass was incomplete, giving Duke possession on the11-yard line. The Blue Devils scored a touchdown four plays later.

Tim Spruill blocked a Duke punt to give the Cavaliers the ball at the Duke35-yard line. But Jones lost a fumble at the 12-yard line to kill anotherdrive. Duke drove down field to kick a game-tying field goal.Virginia’s final possession of the game ended as Ellis threw his secondinterception of the day in the second overtime.

In UVa’s game against N.C. State, the Wolfpack turned the ball over onthree of their first four second half possessions. Virginia turned themiscues into 22 points (in a 30-point quarter). The 30 points helped erasea 19-10 halftime deficit as Virginia rolled to a 47-26 win.

Of UVa’s 15 turnovers, 10 have been turned into points by the opposition.Clemson scored two touchdowns and a field goal off UVa miscues, while theweek before North Carolina’s defense scored on an interception return andscored its lone offensive touchdown following an interception. BrighamYoung returned Ellis’ only interception for a touchdown three weeks ago,while Duke scored a just one field goal off three UVa turnovers.

Virginia has forced 20 turnovers this season (14 interceptions, sixfumbles) and blocked one punt. From these mistakes the Cavaliers havescored just nine touchdowns.

Braverman Boots 50-Yard Winner
Place-kickers live a strange existence, always walking on the cusp betweenhero and goat. Over the last two seasons Todd Braverman can surely attestto the fine line kickers walk.

Last season he booted a 30-yard field goal with 49 seconds remaining todefeat Clemson 20-18 in the season’s third week. But from that point on,the up-and-down nature of kickers seemed to be mostly down for him.

He missed a field goal that could have sent the Georgia Tech game intoovertime, but to be fair it was from 54-yards out and didn’t miss by much.He then missed an extra point and a 48-yard field goal in the waningseconds of the Peach Bowl loss to Georgia. The field goal, if good, wouldhave won it for Virginia, but instead the ball drifted wide right.(Braverman shouldn’t be blamed for either loss as Virginia held 21-pointleads in both contests.)

The uncertainty of his position continued into this preseason and he wasn’tannounced as the kicker for this season until the week of the NorthCarolina game.

But things swung upward for Braverman when he was named the starter. Hewasted little time justifying Welsh’s decision and erasing the memories oflast season in the opener against North Carolina with two field goalsagainst the Tar Heels.

Called on to be the hero, Braverman answered the call with a 50-yard bootwith 27.4 seconds remaining to give Virginia a 20-17 victory. The kickdidn’t clear the crossbar by much, but it was enough to make Braverman thesixth kicker in school history to make a 50-yarder. His 50-yard victorykick vs. the Tar Heels is the longest game-winning field goal in schoolhistory.

He has made all 23 extra points and and six of nine field goal attemptsthis season. After missing the first extra point attempt of his career(last season vs. Auburn), he has made 61 in a row in regular season games,the longest streak since Jake McInerney made a school-record 88 PATs from1989-90.

Taylor Returns with a Vengeance
Linebacker Shannon Taylor sat out last season for personal reasons. But thelay-off hasn’t seemed to be a setback based on his performance this season.He was recruited as a quarterback, but moved to linebacker shortly afterhis arrival in Charlottesville and has alternated between linebacker anddefensive end during his career. He lettered as a linebacker in 1996 and atdefensive end in 1997. A gifted athlete who excels at getting to thequarterback, he has been in on seven sacks in his career.

He was one of the few defensive bright spots against Clemson. He tied hiscareer high at the time with seven tackles (since broken) against theTigers, including two stops behind the line of scrimmage.

His career high for tackles didn’t last long, however because he followedthat with a 10-tackle performance against Wake Forest. He had two tacklesbehind the line of scrimmage, including his second sack of the season.The big plays for Taylor continued against Brigham Young as he turned ineight tackles, including two more tackles behind the line. That marked thethird game in a row Taylor had two tackles for loss.

He tied his career high with three tackles for loss against top-rankedFlorida State on Saturday. That is also the team high this season.Taylor is second on the team with 57 tackles (7.1/g), while leading theteam with 10 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks.


0-Thomas Jones’ durability is best typified by the fact that he hasn’tmissed so much as a PRACTICE during his career. He has also started 31consecutive games at tailback, a UVa record for a tailback.

1-UVa head coach George Welsh is the winningest coach in ACC history. Theonly coach in league history to win 100 games, he has a 125-79-3 record atVirginia. Welsh has also won 78 ACC games, the most in league history.

1-Thomas Jones has caught 17 passes this season, tops among ACC runningbacks. He led ACC running backs in receptions last year with 28.

3-Thomas Jones earned his undergraduate degree in psychology in just threeyears. He received his degree in May of 1999.

7-Virginia is tied for seventh in the nation with 14 interceptions. Truefreshman Jerton Evans leads the team with four pickoffs.

7-UVa head coach George Welsh is seventh among active Division I-A coachesin wins. He has won 180 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) andVirginia (1982-present).

11-Players have made the first start of their careers this season. Fivefirst-timers started the opener vs. North Carolina, the most since 1997 tostart an opener. Jared Woodson started at left guard against Florida Stateto become the most recent member of this club.

12-Consecutive seasons with at least seven wins by UVa, the longest streakin ACC history. UVa is one of only four Division I-A programs (Fla. State,Michigan, Nebraska) to post at least seven wins in each of the last 12seasons. It is also tied for the eighth-longest current streak of winningseasons in the nation.

149.3, 41.7-Thomas Jones, UVa’s all-time leading rusher, leads the nationin rushing with a 159.1 average. Jones is in hot pursuit of the all-timeACC and UVa single season rushing mark. Jones needs to average 149.3 ypg totop Don McCauley’s (UNC) ACC record of 1720 yards in 1970 and 41.7 ypg tobreak Tiki Barber’s school record of 1397 yards in 1995.

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