CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (2-4, 0-3 ACC) gets back to action after its bye week with a road contest at Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-1 ACC) on Thursday (Oct. 20). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN and the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
GAME COVERAGE: In addition to the linear broadcast on ESPN, the game can be streamed on ESPN.com and the ESPN app. The pregame radio show on the Virginia Sports Radio Network will begin at 6:30 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on the Virginia Sports App, the TuneIn App and any one of the VSRN affiliates across the commonwealth. For a list of expanded coverage visit: virginiasports.com/radio
INSIDE THURSDAY’S MATCHUP
- Virginia will be on the road for the third time in its last four games. After its trip to Atlanta, only the regular season finale at Virginia Tech will be played away from Scott Stadium.
- The Cavaliers are coming off a bye and will play for the first time in 11 days. UVA is 30-33 all-time coming off a bye week and has won four of its last six games after the bye week.
- UVA is seeking its first road win after a bye week since defeating at NC State 33-6 in 2012.
- At 0-3 in conference play, UVA is looking to avoid its first 0-4 start since the 2013 season.
- The Cavaliers are below the .500 mark for only the second time since the 2018 season and the first time since 2020 when began that season 1-4 before rattling off four wins in the last five games to finish 5-5 on the year.
- Virginia enters the contest winless in its last five road games, its last win coming in comeback fashion, a 34-33 win at Louisville.
- UVA has won four of the last six meetings against Georgia Tech but has not claimed victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium since 2008. The Yellow Jackets have won five-straight games at home against UVA, including a 30-27 overtime win in 2018.
- Quarterback Brennan Armstrong tied the Virginia program record for career touchdown passes (56) held by Matt Schaub last week against Louisville. A touchdown pass on Thursday will make him UVA’s all-time leader.
- Thursday night will serve as a homecoming for 12 Cavaliers that hail from the state of Georgia, second only to Virginia (52) for the most from any state. Virginia defensive ends coach Chris Slade coached at Pace Academy in Atlanta for nine years before assuming his current role prior to the 2022 season.
- The primetime matchup will feature two of the nation’s top tacklers, Virginia’s Nick Jackson (10.3 tackles per game/13th in FBS) and Georgia Tech’s Ayinde Eley (10.8 tackles per game/7th in FBS).
- UVA (17.8) and Georgia Tech (17.3) come into the contest as the two lowest scoring teams in the ACC. Last year the two teams combined for 88 points in a 48-40 Cavalier victory in Charlottesville.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1 – Armstrong needs one touchdown pass to become UVA’s all-time leader in career touchdown passes.
20 – Consecutive games with a reception for wide receiver Keytaon Thompson. He has led UVA in catches in five-straight games.
1.5 – After a career-high three passes defended in UVA’s last game against Louisville, cornerback Anthony Johnson moved into a tie for the ACC lead with 1.5 pass breakups per game
7 – Fumbles recovered through six games by the UVA defense, the second most in the ACC and the tied for the 11th most in the country.
- Wide receiver Keytaon Thompson needs 24 yards to enter UVA’s top-15 all-time in receiving yards. Teammate Billy Kemp IV sits just 13 yards shy of passing Heath Miller on the school’s all-time receiving yards list.
|Name||Career Rec. Yards|
|8.||Hasise Dubois (2016-19)||1,859|
|9.||Patrick Jeffers (1992-95)||1,785|
|10.||Heath Miller (2002-04)||1,703|
|11.||Billy Kemp (2018-pres.)||1,691|
|12.||Darius Jennings (2011-14)||1,667|
|13.||Tim Smith (2009-13)||1,591|
|14.||Dave Sullivan (1970-72)||1,578|
|15.||Taquan Mizell (2013-16)||1,560|
|~||Keytaon Thompson (2020-pres.)*||1,537|
*Does not include 8 receiving yards at Miss. St.
- Thompson and Kemp are also among the program’s top-15 in receptions. Thompson has 126 career catches at UVA and can enter UVA’s top-10 with four more receptions. Kemp ranks fourth all-time with 181 receptions and looking to become only the third Cavalier with 200 career receptions
THROUGH THE AIR & ON THE GROUND
- Brennan Armstrong has rushed for a touchdown in consecutive weeks and now has 17 for his career, the fifth most every at UVA by a quarterback.
- Armstrong’s 313 yards passing against Louisville were a season-high. It also marked the 12th time in his career he’s eclipsed the 300-yard mark in a game, already a program record. One more 300-yard effort and he will move into a tie for the seventh most in ACC history.
300 yard Passing Games – ACC History
|6.||Jameis Winston, Florida State (2013-14)||14|
|Sam Howell, North Carolina (2019-21)||14|
|8.||Chris Weinke, Florida State (1997-00)||13|
|Deshaun Watson, Clemson (2014-16)||13|
|Lamar Jackson, Louisville (2015-17)||13|
|Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (2018-20)||13|
|Brennan Armstrong, Virginia (2018-pres.)||13|
- Wide receiver Keytaon Thompson has led the Cavaliers in receptions for the last five games. He has caught five or more passes in 10 of his last 12 games.
- Thompson’s team-best, nine catches marked the eighth time in his career and second time this season he’s caught nine or more passes.
- Thompson has caught a pass in 20-straight games dating back to the 2020 season, the longest active streak on the team.
BIG PLAY POTENTIAL
- Lavel Davis Jr. ranks second in the ACC and 11th in the country with a 20.93 yards per catch average. Of his 34 career catches, 16 have gone for 20 or more yards.
- Wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks caught his first touchdown pass of the season against Louisville, a 40-yard strike from Armstrong in the first quarter. It marked the fourth UVA passing play of 40 or more yards this season.
- Since 2000, Wicks has the most plays of 20 or more yards than any UVA wide receiver with 32. His 2021 campaign included 27 plays of 20 or more yards, the most in a single season by any UVA wideout since 2000.
Most Catches of 20 or more Yards at UVA (Since 2000)
LOOKING BACK TO WEEK 6
- Virginia had its top passing performance of the season, throwing for 313 yards but had its lowest output on the ground, rushing for just six yards on 25 attempts. It marked the lowest rushing output since 2017 when it rushed for five yards against Virginia Tech.
- Seven UVA receivers caught a pass in the contest, matching a season-high (Richmond & Duke).
- Virginia jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. It was only the third time UVA has led an opponent by double-digit points in a game this season. It finished with a 17-point victory in the season opener against Richmond and led 10-0 against ODU before coming back to defeat the Monarchs 16-14.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
- Nick Jackson is on pace for his third-consecutive 100-tackle season with 62 through six games. He’s recorded double-digit tackle efforts in four of the six games this season, including a 10-tackle performance in just one half against Duke The senior linebacker was forced to sit out the first half against the Blue Devils due to a targeting call against Syracuse int the week prior. The first half suspension halted his streak of 27-straight starts at linebacker for the Hoos.
- Jackson has 18 double-digit tackle efforts over the course of his four years at UVA.
UVA Career Tackle Leaders (10-15)
|10.||Randy Neal, LB 1991-94||367||248||119|
|11.||Stuart Anderson, DL/LB 1978-81||354||130||224|
|12.||Wali Rainer, LB 1995-98||347||201||146|
|13.||Anthony Poindexter, S 1995-98||342||167||175|
|14.||P.J. Killian, LB 1990-93||316||219||97|
|15.||Nick Jackson, LB 2019-22||312||143||169|
CAREER DAY FOR AJ
- Against his alma mater, Louisville, Anthony Johnson intercepted his second pass of the season and also recorded a career-high three breakups. One of his breakups led to the first career interception for teammate Antonio Clary.
- Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisville before transferring to Virginia prior to the 2021 season.
- Coming into this week’s action, Johnson is tied for the ACC lead with 1.5 pass breakups per game.
- Johnson has seven career interceptions, including five in his time at UVA.
CHICO AND THE OTHER MEN UP FRONT
- Chico Bennett Jr., a transfer from Georgia Tech, leads all Cavaliers with four sacks and ranks fifth in the ACC with .67 sacks per game.
- His two-sack effort at Syracuse a two-sack effort against Syracuse helped him earn ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors.
- Kam Butler, a transfer from Miami (Ohio) has wreaked havoc for the Cavaliers from his defensive end position. He has forced two fumbles including a strip of Syracuse All-American Sean Tucker. He is one of 10 players in the ACC with two forced fumbles this season. Butler has started 36-straight games, including all six of his games at UVA.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
- Demick Starling’s 234 kickoff return yards are third-most in the ACC and more than team’s total kickoff return yardage from the entire 2021 season.
- Punter Daniel Sparks has punted 23 times this season for a net average of 45.26, the second-highest in the conference. The transfer from Minnesota has seven punts of 50+ yards (3rd most in ACC) and eight punts inside the 20-yard line (t-3rd most in ACC).
- True freshman Will Bettridge connected on a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter to open the game’s scoring. It was the longest field goal by a UVA kicker this season and the longest since Brian Delaney kicked a 48-yarder against Virginia Tech in 2019