CHARLOTTESVILLE – In the annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup, Virginia Tech held off Virginia in the final minute to secure a 29-24 victory Saturday at Scott Stadium.
With 3:05 to play, UVA’s defense came up with a takeaway, giving quarterback Brennan Armstrong and the offense a chance to pull out a dramatic win for the home team. The Cavaliers drove to the Hokies’ 11-yard line, where they had a first down, but their next two plays netted only 2 yards.
On third down, Virginia tried a trick play, a lateral pass from Armstrong to tackle Bobby Haskins, who was an eligible receiver. Tech read it perfectly and dropped Haskins for a 5-yard loss. On fourth down, Armstrong’s pass to wide receiver Ra’Shaun Henry was broken up in the end zone, and the Hokies celebrated their second straight victory in the series.
Each team finished the regular season 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. The Wahoos have lost four straight games since becoming bowl-eligible with a victory over Georgia Tech.
Despite hurting his ankle in the second half, an injury that limited his mobility, Armstrong passed for 405 yards, a record for a quarterback in this series, and one touchdown. He rushed for two TDs. Wideout Billy Kemp led the Cavaliers with eight receptions for 102 yards.
The Hokies came in ranked last among ACC teams in total offense, averaging 360.9 yards per game, but they amassed 464 against Virginia. Led by tailback Raheem Blackshear and quarterback Braxton Burmeister, each of whom ran for at least 115 yards, Tech rushed for 320 yards.
Virginia, which was 21-17 at halftime, hurt itself with two turnovers and a costly roughing-the-punter penalty that extended a Tech drive.
- Virginia eclipsed the 400-point mark for the season, only the fourth time in school history UVA has scored 400 points in a season. The 420 total points this season are the third-most in program history.
- The Virginia defense matched a season-high with four sacks in the contest.
- Saturday was the final game for Kim Kirschnick who served the Virginia football program as the mounted Cavalier on horseback for the past 21 seasons. He led the Cavalier football team on the field for the past 21 seasons, more than 140 games and a number of bowl games.
- Wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks set the Virginia single-season receiving yardage record on a 19-yard reception on UVA’s second scoring drive in the first quarter. He surpassed Herman Moore’s mark of 1,190 yards set back in 1990.
- Wicks finished with three catches for 55 yards on eight targets. He now has 1,203 yards on the season.
- Brennan Armstrong broke UVA’s single-season total offense record with a 27-yard pass to Wicks on UVA’s second play of the game. The record was previously held by Bryce Perkins – 4,307 in 2019. Armstrong now has 4,705 on the season which is fifth-most in ACC history.
- Armstrong rushed for his eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season. The nine rushing touchdowns are the sixth most by a UVA quarterback in school history. He now has 14 for his career, the sixth most ever by a UVA quarterback.
- Armstrong threw for over 400 yards for the sixth time this season and went over the 300-yard mark for the 11th time in his career, both school records. His 405 yards in the contest was the most ever by a UVA quarterback against Virginia Tech.
- Armstrong has 4,449 yards passing this season, the fourth-highest single-season total in ACC history.
- Jelani Woods caught a career-high seven passes and racked up 64 yards receiving. His touchdown on the opening drive of the game was his eighth of the season, the second most by a tight end in UVA history and one shy of Heath Miller’s school record of nine in 2002.
- Woods has 598 yards receiving on the season, the third most ever by a UVA tight end.
- West Weeks recorded his first sack of the season, a 14-yard loss that forced a VT fourth down late in the second quarter.
- Nick Jackson had 10 tackles, the third-straight double-digit tackle game by the linebacker. He has seven 10+ tackle games this season and a total of 117 tackles on the year.
- Elliott Brown had a career-high, two sacks to go along with four tackles.
- Billy Kemp led the Cavaliers with eight catches and 102 yards receiving. The 100-yard game was his second of the season and third of his career.