Football Would Become Bowl-eligible With Win Over Buffalo
Nov. 8, 1999
Virginia vs. BuffaloNov. 13, 1999 * 1:00 p.m.Charlottesville, Va.
The Game: Virginia looks to become bowl-eligible this Saturday (Nov. 13)with a victory over Buffalo in a non-televised “Senior Day” game at theCarl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.The Cavaliers gained a rousing 45-38 win over #7 Georgia Tech at home lastSaturday to raise their record to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the ACC.
David Rivers replaced an injured Dan Ellis at quarterback vs. the YellowJackets and directed a potent offensive attack that rolled up 493 yards oftotal offense. Rivers shook off a shaky start to finish 18 of 30 for 228yards and three touchdowns. Heisman Trophy candidate Thomas Jones continuedto prove why he’s the best running back in the country by grinding out 213yards and two scores on the ground.
Buffalo is 0-9 overall this season, including 0-7 in the Mid-AmericanConference. The Bulls are returning to Division I-A football for the firsttime since 1970.
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 Bulls
After a 31-year hiatus, the series between Virginia and Buffalo resumes onSaturday. The only previous meeting saw the Cavaliers gain a 35-12 win overthe Bulls on Sept. 30, 1967 in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers jumped to a28-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
Virginia signal caller Gene Arnette had a big day before a crowd of 16,000.He rushed for 119 yards and four touchdowns (on just 11 carries), whilecompleting five of seven passes for 81 yards and another score. Arnettescored on runs of 21, 15, 3 and 46 yards, while his touchdown pass covered17 yards to Bob Serino. His four rushing touchdowns is still an ACC recordfor a quarterback.
Tailback Frank Quayle rumbled for 151 yards on 14 carries as Virginiarolled up 402 yards on the ground and 483 yards of total offense. UVa’s 402yards rushing stands as the eighth-highest total in school history.The score might have been worse, but the Cavaliers fumbled six times andlost all six. The six fumbles lost stands tied for second-most in schoolhistory.
The Bulls are in their first year of Division I-A play and are members ofthe Mid-American Conference (MAC). Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Ohioare the only other MAC schools that Virginia has faced. The Cavaliersdefeated Central Michigan 55-21 at Scott Stadium to open the 1996 season.Virginia also defeated Ohio 41-7 at Scott Stadium in 1993. UVa played Miami(Ohio) in 1948 (14-14 tie) and 1949 (21-18 UVa win).This is the first time since 1975 that a school in New York has come toCharlottesville. Virginia lost at home to Syracuse 37-0 in 1975.
Where Were They Then?
It’s been a long time since Virginia and Buffalo last met on the gridironand it’s interesting to see where some people associated with the Cavalierswere during that meeting in 1967.UVa head coach George Welsh was an assistant coach under Joe Paterno atPenn State. “Joe Pa” was in just his second year at the helm of the NittanyLions and had just six wins in his career.Defensive coordinator Rick Lantz was an assistant coach at BostonUniversity, who left after that season to become defensive coordinator atBuffalo, where he spent three years.Offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill was an assistant coach at his almamater, Wittenberg.Defensive tackle Maurice Anderson, the oldest Cavalier at 24, was stillseven-and-a-half years from being born.
Jones Leads Nation in Rushing
Heisman Trophy candidate Thomas Jones has put together one of the bestseasons in school history in 1999. He leads the country in rushing,averaging 165.1 yards per game (1486 yards in nine 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 then set the school single-season mark in just nine games, breakingthe record that took Tiki Barber 12 games to set in 1995 (1397 yards).Not surprisingly, Jones has been the game’s leading rusher in every gamefor Virginia this season.
Jones has been at at his best as the season heads into “crunch time”,averaging 195.8 yards in his last four games as the Cavaliers fight for abowl spot. In fact, his performance in this span is by far the bestfour-game stretch in school history.
His 164 yards vs. Florida State are the most the Seminoles have allowedsince UVa’s Tiki Barber rushed for 193 yards in 1995, a span of 50 games.Adding his 207 yard effort in last season’s game against Georgia Tech tothis season’s 213-yard performance makes him the first player in ACChistory to have two 200-yard games against one team.A look at Jones in the last four games is below.
|#1 Fla. State||26||164||6.3||1|
|#2 Ga. Tech||39||213||5.5||2|
|avg. last 4||33.5||195.8||5.8||2|
At Home vs. Non-Conference Opponents
This is the last of two non-conference home games for Virginia this season.The Cavaliers fell to Virginia Tech 31-7 in their first home non-conferencegame last month.Since 1989, Auburn and Virginia Tech are the only non-conference schools towin in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers have won 22 of their last 27 non-conference games at homegoing back to 1987. The only losses since then are to Penn State in 1988,Virginia Tech in 1993, 1995 and 1999, and Auburn in 1997.In George Welsh’s 18 years at Virginia, his teams are 30-10 (.750) againstnon-conference teams at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. HarrisonIII Field at Scott Stadium.In November non-conference games at home under Welsh the Cavaliers are 5-4.
Just Like the “Old” Days
With the proliferation of games on television, it is unusual that aVirginia game is not being televised. Oddly this is the second home game ofthe season that has not been televised. (Duke was the other.)But not appearing on television is usually a good thing for Virginia. Since1989 the Cavaliers have played 42 non-televised games and have won 40.The Cavaliers’ only non-televised losses since 1989 were to N.C. State in1993 and to Duke last month (which snapped a 14-game non-televised winningstreak.)
Jones Sets Record in Nine Games
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 was veryprescient regarding the performance of the player who was his understudythree years ago as Jones has erased Barber’s name from the top spot on manylists.
The most recent record to fall is UVa’s single-season rushing mark. Barberrushed for 1397 yards in 12 games in 1995, but Jones needed just nine gamesthis season to move past Barber.With two games remaining to play, Jones has rushed for 1486 yards and issure to add to that total.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.) Between Barber andJones, they hold the top-four seasons in school history.
Jones is also averaging 165.1 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||Yds Rushing|
|1.||Thomas Jones, 1999||1486|
|2.||Tiki Barber, 1995||1397|
|3.||Tiki Barber, 1996||1360|
|4.||Thomas Jones, 1998||1303|
|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|
Cavaliers in November
Virginia head coach George Welsh calls November the most important time ofthe season.But November hasn’t been the most fruitful of times for the Cavaliersrecently. They are 18-13 overall in November in the 1990s, including a 12-9mark in November ACC games.Over the last three seasons, however, Virginia is 6-2 in November.George Welsh’s Virginia squads have a 33-25-1 overall record in Novembersince 1982.
The Cavaliers are 10-6 in non-conference games in November under Welsh.Greene Sends Kickoffs to the End ZoneFor 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 28 of 47kickoffs this season into the endzone, resulting in 15 touchbacks. Theopponents are averaging 21.7 yards per return against UVa’s kickoffcoverage team.
Looking to Extend Seven-Win Streak
Virginia needs to win its last two games to stretch its streak of seven-winseasons to 13. The Cavaliers helped themselves greatly toward accomplishingthis goal with a 45-38 win over #7 Georgia Tech last Saturday.If the Cavaliers can run the table and finish 7-4, it would mark the 13thconsecutive season they have won at least seven games. Only three otherteams in the nation can make that claim-Florida State, Michigan andNebraska.
Jones Shows Up Every Day
Despite 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 165.1 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 32 at tailback.He made the 31st consecutive start of his career against Florida State toadd to his list of school records- most consecutive starts by a tailback.Terry Kirby got the starting nod 30 straight games from 1990-92 and heldthe 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.
McMullen Among Top Rookie Receivers
Wide receiver Billy McMullen has shown flashes of brilliance this season,particularly lately, and is one of the top true freshman receivers in thenation.He leads the team with 353 receiving yards and an 18.6-yards per catchaverage this season and is second with 19 receptions and three touchdowns.He has been more of a focal point of the passing game lately, particularlyas Kevin Coffey’s production has gone down.
McMullen first strutted his stuff last month in a big win over N.C. Statein Raleigh. He led the team with 109 yards receiving (a career high), whilehis four receptions tied Ahmad Hawkins for team honors.He came up big again last Saturday vs. #7 Georgia Tech despite catchingjust two passes. He hauled in a 39-yard pass from David Rivers in thesecond quarter to help set up Virginia’s second touchdown that cut theYellow Jackets’ lead from 17-0 to 24-14.
McMullen and Rivers teamed up again early in the fourth quarter on a42-yard scoring play that proved to be the game-winner. Faced withsecond-and-23 on the Tech 42, Rivers hit McMullen in stride with a perfecttoss to put the Cavaliers in the lead for good.Research shows that McMullen is only the fourth true freshman to catch twoTD passes in a game for Virginia. The others are Germane Crowell vs.Florida State in 1994 (his first college game), Demetrius “Pete” Allen vs.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.
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 fourth on the team with 56 tackles, far surpassing his previouscareer high of 31 in 1997. The 56 tackles are the most by a UVa defensivetackle since White had 77 in 1995.
Coffey’s Production Falls Off Recently
Wide receiver Kevin Coffey looked as if 1999 was going to be a big year forhim. And for the first few games this season it seemed like he would indeedhave a big 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 and one touchdown. In addition to his touchdowngrab (a 32-yarder), his other three receptions 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 13 passes in the last seven games, and is averaging10.7 yards per catch (well off his career average of 19.1 yards).He bounced back somewhat with his best performance since early in theseason against #7 Georgia Tech last Saturday with three catches for 33yards and a touchdown.
Coffey was biggest on Virginia’s final drive of the first half as theCavaliers used a late interception to score and cut the halftime deficit to24-21. He caught an 18-yard pass to take the ball to the 12-yard line with14 seconds left. One the next play he hauled in a 12-yard strike fromquarterback David Rivers with nine ticks left on the clock for his firsttouchdown in five games.
Nonetheless, Coffey remains Virginia’s leading receiver with 21 receptionsand five touchdowns. His 289 yards trail Billy McMullen for the team lead.Welsh Seventh Among Active Wins LeadersHead 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 181 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia(1982-present), 27th in NCAA Division I-A history.His overall career record is 181-125-4 (.590).The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to winat least 100 games. He has a 126-79-3 record in 18 seasons at Virginia. His79 wins in ACC games is also a record.
A look at the winningest active coaches is below.
|1.||Joe Paterno, Penn State (34 yrs)||316 wins|
|2.||Bobby Bowden, Fla. State (34)||301|
|3.||LaVell Edwards, BYU (28)||251|
|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)||181|
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 70 tackles despite missing one game.A look at his game-by-game stats are below.
|Duke||5||5||10*||QBS, hurry, PBU|
* led team
Jones 10th All-Time in ACC
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 knew what hewas talking about as Jones has taken the football world by storm thisseason.
Jones, Virginia’s all-time leading rusher, now has 3686 career rushingyards 10th in ACC history. With two games to play, he will undoubtedlyfinish higher.
Jones’ place on the ACC all-time rushing list is below.
Player, school Rush Yds.5. Warrick Dunn, Florida State 39596. James McDougald, Wake Forest 38117. Raymond Priester, Clemson 37178. Jerry Mays, Georgia Tech 36999. Leon Johnson, North Carolina 369310. Thomas Jones, Virginia 3686
Experienced Line Opens Holes for Jones
Head 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 1486 yards this season (165.1/g), 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 last year.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. ProFootball Weekly listed him on its midseason All-America team.Sophomore Evan Routzahn, a starter in five games at left guard last season,has moved to right guard and is considered a very promising player byWelsh. He is joined by junior Brad Barnes, the right tackle. Barnes sawlimited action in his first two years, but has worked hard to forge his wayinto the line-up and is considered by Welsh the most improved player on theoffensive line. Barnes was selected the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Weekfor 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.
Virginia used a Yubrenal Isabelle interception to great advantage in lastSaturday’s win over Georgia Tech. Isabelle returned the interception to theTech 40-yard line to set up UVa’s final drive of the first half. Sevenplays later quarterback David Rivers found Kevin Coffey in the end zone fora 12-yard scoring strike that brought UVa to within three points at 24-21with nine seconds to go in the half.
That touchdown proved crucial as the Cavaliers held on to complete thecomeback 45-38.Of UVa’s 16 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 22 turnovers this season (15 interceptions, sevenfumbles) and blocked one punt. From these mistakes the Cavaliers havescored just 10 touchdowns.
Kiddie Corps Get PickoffsVirginia has intercepted 15 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 quarterfor his fourth interception of the season, which ties the school record formost interceptions by a true freshman. Kevin Cook had four in 1986.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 ninth in the nation in interceptions.
Rivers Shines in First Start
We aren’t sure if David Rivers (pronounced RYE-vers) is the firstquarterback in school history to make his first start come against a top-10team, but we do know he’s the first quarterback to beat a top-10 team inhis first start.
Called on to replace an injured Dan Ellis for last Saturday’s game against#7 Georgia Tech, Rivers and the Cavaliers shook off a slow start to reboundwith a thrilling 45-38 win over the Yellow Jackets.
The win was especially sweet for Rivers who grew up a Georgia Tech fan inAugusta, Ga., and who waited patiently for four years behind Aaron Brooksand Dan Ellis for his opportunity to come.Rivers missed on all three pass attempts, throwing one interception in thefirst quarter as the Cavaliers found themselves in a 17-0 hole in theopening period.
But he caught fire in the second quarter, directing Virginia to touchdownson their final three drives of the half to cut the deficit to 24-21 at thebreak.The field leadership continued in the second half as Virginia scored onthree of its first four possessions to take the lead en route to thevictory.
After the rough start, Rivers went on to complete 18 of his next 27 passesfor 228 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions or sacks.His three touchdown passes tie Mike Groh’s school record for most touchdownpasses in a first start. Groh had three vs. Navy in 1994.It is also the most thrown by a UVa quarterback in a game against a top-10team.
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 29 extra points and and seven of 10 field goal attemptsthis season. After missing the first extra point attempt of his career(last season vs. Auburn), he has made 67 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. That is also the team high this season.Taylor is second on the team with 62 tackles (6.9/g), while leading theteam with 11 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks.
Jones vs. Heisman Trophy-Winning Backs
Thomas Jones leads the nation in rushing, averaging 165.1 ypg and isapproaching the ACC record for most rushing yards in a season.Former North Carolina standout Don McCauley rushed for 1720 yards to setthe ACC standard.
Jones’ numbers through nine games this year measure very favorably withpast running backs who won the Heisman Trophy.A look at the last 20 running backs to win the Heisman Trophy with theirrushing yardage at similar stages of their trophy-winning campaigns isshown below. Winners prior to 1961 have their season total listed. (Thanksto Wisconsin for doing most of this research.)
|Player||9 games||10 games|
|Thomas Jones, Virginia, ’99||1486||TBD|
|Others at this stage of season:|
|Ricky Williams, Texas, ’98||1,724||2,124|
|Eddie George, Ohio State, ’95||1,278||1,593|
|Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, ’94||1,564||1,796|
|Barry Sanders, Okla. State, ’88||2,003||2,296|
|Bo Jackson, Auburn, ’85||1,523||1,644|
|Mike Rozier, Nebraska, ’83||1,446||1,658|
|Herschel Walker, Georgia, ’82||1,413||1,590|
|Marcus Allen, USC, ’81||1,968||2,123|
|George Rogers, So. Carolina, ’80||1,436||1,613|
|Charles White, USC, ’79||1,558||1,801|
|Billy Sims, Oklahoma, ’78||1,400||1,553|
|Earl Campbell, Texas, ’77||1,341||1,522|
|Tony Dorsett, Pitt, ’76||1,526||1,725|
|Archie Griffin, Ohio State, ’75||1,187||1,311|
|Archie Griffin, Ohio State, ’74||1,335||1,510|
|John Cappelletti, Penn St., ’73||1,158||1362|
|Steve Owens, Oklahoma, ’69||1,264||1,525*|
|O.J. Simpson, USC, ’68||1,654||1,709*|
|Mike Garrett, USC, ’65||1,328||1,440*|
|Ernie Davis, Syracuse, ’61||724||823*|
|Joe Bellino, Navy, ’60||834*|
|Billy Cannon, LSU, ’59||598*|
|Pete Dawkins, Army, ’58||428*|
|John David Crow, Texas A&M, ’57||562*|
|Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Ohio State, ’55||958*|
|Alan Ameche, Wisconsin, ’54||641*|
|Johnny Lattner, Notre Dame, ’53||651*|
|Billy Vessels, Oklahoma, ’52||1072*|
|Dick Kazmaier, Princeton, ’51||861*|
|Vic Janowicz, Ohio State, ’50||314*|
|Doak Walker, SMU, ’48||537*|
|Glenn Davis, Army, ’46||712*|
|Doc Blanchard, Army, ’45||718*|
|Les Horvath, Ohio State, ’44||905*|
|Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, ’42||795*|
|Bruce Smith, Minnesota, ’41||446*|
|Tom Harmon, Michigan, ’40||844*|
|Nile Kinnick, Iowa, ’39||374*|
|Clint Frank, Yale, ’37||667*|
|Jay Berwanger, Chicago, ’35||577*|
* full season statistics
Jones in UVa and ACC Record Books
Thomas Jones has etched his name throughout the Virginia and Atlantic CoastConference record book this season and with two games remaining, willcontinue to do so. Here’s a look at some of his records and possiblerecords.*=modern era (since 1937)
ACC Records SetMost 200-Yard Games in a Season-3Most 200-Yard Games in a Career-5Most Consecutive 200-Yard Games-2
Virginia Records SetMost Yards Rushing in a Career-3686Most Yards Rushing in a Season-1486, ’99Most Rushing Attempts in a Career-749Most Rushing Attempts in a Season-274, ’99Most Rushing Touchdowns in a Career*-35Most Total Touchdowns in a Career*-368Most 200-Yard Games in a Season-3Most 200-Yard Games in a Career-5Most Consecutive 200-Yard Games-2Most Rushing Attempts in a Game-39 vs. Georgia Tech, ’99Most Consecutive Starts by a Tailback-32Fewest Practices Missed-0Virginia Records Within ReachMost Touchdowns in a Season*-18, Bill Dudley, ’41Most Rushing TDs in a Season*-17, Bill Dudley, ’41Best Rushing Avg. in a Season-141.3, Terry Kirby, ’92Most 100-Yard Games in a Season-9, Tiki Barber, ’96Most 100-Yard Games in a Career-19, Tiki Barber
ACC Records Within ReachMost Yards Rushing in a season-1720, Don McCauley, UNC, ’70Best Rushing Avg. in a season-156.4, Don McCauley, UNC, ’70Most Rushing TDs in a season-19, by two players
VIRGINIA BY THE NUMBERS
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 32consecutive 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 126-79-3 record atVirginia. Welsh has also won 79 ACC games, the most in league history.
1-Thomas Jones has caught 18 passes this season, tops among ACC runningbacks. He also 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-UVa head coach George Welsh is seventh among active Division I-A coachesin wins. He has won 181 games in a 27-year career at Navy (1973-81) andVirginia (1982-present).
9-Virginia is tied for ninth in the nation with 15 interceptions. Truefreshman Jerton Evans leads the team with four pickoffs.
12-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. Quarterback David Rivers led the Cavaliers to a thrillingvictory over Georgia Tech in his first start last week.
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.
117.5-Thomas Jones, UVa’s all-time leading rusher, leads the nation inrushing with a 165.1 average and is in hot pursuit of the all-time ACCsingle season rushing mark. Jones needs to average 117.5 ypg in the finaltwo games to top Don McCauley’s (UNC) ACC record of 1720 yards in 1970.