Dec. 27, 2003
Virginia’s 23-16 win over Pittsburgh in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl is the Cavaliers’ second consecutive bowl win (and second straight CTB victory). This is the first time they have won back-to-back bowl games since winning the 1994 Independence Bowl (over TCU) and the 1995 Peach Bowl (over Georgia).Virginia finishes with an 8-5 record this season to follow up last season’s 9-5 record. This is the first time Virginia has won at least eight games in consecutive seasons since winning nine games in both 1994 and 1995.Quarterback Matt Schaub set a school record with 56 career TD passes, one more than Shawn Moore threw in his UVa career from 1987-90. Schaub’s record-setting pass was a 52-yard scoring play to TE Heath Miller in the first quarter.Charlotte native TB Alvin Pearman led the team with six receptions (for 32 yards) this afternoon. He caught 63 passes this season, the fourth-highest total in school hstory and the third-highest total by a running back in ACC history.Pearman has caught 109 passes in his career, sixth in school history and most by a running back. Terry Kirby (1989-92) held the previous RB record with 105 catches.Pearman rushed for 104 yards today, his second 100-yard game of the season and third of his career.Pearman’s 51-yard run in the second quarter is UVa’s longest run of the year.Pearman rushed for a career-high 643 yards this season, while Wali Lundy rushed for a career-high 929 yards to give Virginia two 500-yard rushers in a season for the first time since 1998 (Thomas Jones-1303, Antwoine Womack 708).Lundy scored on a one-yard plunge in the second quarter today for his fifth Continental Tire Bowl TD. He scored four in last season’s game vs. West Virginia (2 rush, 2 receiving).TE Heath Miller led the team with 84 yards receiving, the seventh time he led the team in receiving yards.Miller caught 70 passes this season, the second-most in a season in UVa history and an ACC record for tight ends. He had 835 receiving yards this season, seventh in UVa history and the most by a TE in ACC history.After just two years, Miller has 103 receptions, tied for ninth in UVa history. He shares the UVa TE receptions record with Bruce McGonnigal (1987-90).PK Connor Hughes booted three field goals today (44, 30, 39) giving him a school-record 23 this season. Rafael Garcia kicked 21 FGs in 1996. Hughes also established a school record for best percentage (.920, 23 of 25).Hughes scored 109 points this season, the most ever by a UVa kicker. His total is the second-highest in the modern day history of UVa football (since 1937 as defined by the NCAA). Bill Dudley scored 134 points in 1941.The Cavaliers held Pitt WR Larry Fitzgerald without a touchdown today, ending his NCAA-record of 18 consecutive games with a TD reception. The last time he failed to catch a TD pass occurred vs. Notre Dame last season.True freshman S Robbie Catterton intercepted the first pass of his career in the third quarter. Virginia intercepted 13 passes this season, all by cornerbacks or safeties. CB Almondo ‘Muffin’ Curry led the team with six interceptions.Charlotte native DE Chris Canty made nine tackles this afternoon to boost his season total to 104. He joins Stuart Anderson (106 in 1981) as the only defensive linemen in school history with at least 100 tackles in a season.LS Ryan Childress and FB Kase Luzar established school records by playing in 51 games in their careers.Virginia sacked Pitt QB Rod Rutherford five times today, tying a season high. The Cavaliers also had five sacks vs. North Carolina.Marquis Weeks came into the game with seven kickoff returns for 147 yards (21.0 avg) with a long return of 42 yards. He returned three kickoffs for 128 yards this afternoon (42.7 avg) with a long of 68 yards.Freshman LB Ahmad Brooks led the team with 12 tackles vs. Pitt, the third game in a row he led the team. He also led the team in tackles six times this season (all in the last nine games).Brooks was in on 117 tackles this season, the most by a freshman in school history. Charles McDaniel held the previous rookie record with 109 tackles in 1982.Brooks also tied UVa’s freshman record with 10 TFLs this season. Darryl Blackstock had 10 TFLs last season.Despite a huge difference in time of possession (UVa 22:55, Pitt 37:05), the Cavaliers outgained the Panthers 440 yards to 394.The Cavaliers’ 22:55 time of possession is their fewest since 2001 when they had the ball just 21:39 in a 43-7 loss at home to Florida State.The last time Virginia won with less than 23 minutes of possession occurred in a 17-6 win at home over North Carolina on Oct. 28, 2000. Virginia had 22:31 in that game. The Cavaliers had lost their last four games when having less than 23 minutes of possession.Virginia’s win was the second in a row over a Big East school. The Cavaliers dispatched Virginia Tech 35-21 in the regular-season finale on Nov. 29.After losing two bowl games in a row to Big East teams (Carquest Bowl vs. Boston College following the 1993 season and the 1996 Carquest Bowl vs. Miami (F)), the Cavaliers have rebounded to win two straight bowl games over the Big East: 2002 Continental Tire Bowl vs. West Virginia and this afternoon’s CTB win over Pittsburgh.