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Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Anthony Allen ran for 195 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rolled to a 33-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers in ACC action at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Signal-caller Joshua Nesbitt added 109 yards and a score on 21 totes to the Georgia Tech (4-2, 3-1 ACC) ground attack, while Roddy Jones ran for 67 yards on just eight carries for the Yellow Jackets.
Marc Verica threw for 239 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions to lead Virginia (2-3, 0-2) in the loss, while Keith Payne ran for 56 yards and a pair of scores. Matt Snyder grabbed four passes for 96 yards in the losing effort.
Scott Blair gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-0 lead early in the opening period of play with a 40-yard field goal.
The Cavaliers took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter with a 37-yard touchdown run by Max Milien.
But the Yellow Jackets responded with 10 unanswered points to close out the half, beginning with a 28-yard kick from Blair. Nesbitt then found the end zone from one-yard out with less than a minute remaining to give the Yellow Jackets a 13-7 halftime edge.
The Yellow Jackets made it 20-7 midway through the third stanza with a six- yard Allen scoring scamper.
But the Cavaliers responded less than two minutes later with a one-yard Keith Payne touchdown plunge.
As the quarter winded down, Allen again found the end zone, this time on an 18-yard run to give Georgia Tech a 27-14 advantage.
Allen scored for the third time of the afternoon late in the final period of play, hitting paydirt following an eight-yard run. A two-point conversion attempt failed however, leaving the Yellow Jackets with a 33-14 lead.
The Cavaliers added a one-yard Payne run with under a minute to play, accounting for the final score of the contest.
The Yellow Jackets amassed a whopping 477 yards rushing in the contest, compared to just 137 yards for the Cavaliers.
Virginia got 99 yards and seven points in garbage time to make this one look close, but this was by far Tech’s most convincing win since some time last year.
The Jackets finished with 536 yards of offense, and held Virginia to 277 that mattered (376 total).
More to come.
Tevin Washington, the future of wreckbone football once Joshua Nesbitt leaves after this season, checked in to wind down the last minutes.
Tech punted. UVA has the ball at its own one with two minutes to go and no time outs.
In the middle of what was supposed to be a clock-killing drive, Joshua Nesbitt spurted for 67 yards, the longest run of his career.
Anthony Allen is up to 195 yards and three scores, both also career highs. Tech now has 534 total yards and 475 yards rushing, both season highs.
Lots of “both highs.” Without all those turnovers, this one would’ve been a slaughter.
Tech went for two after the touchdown, Kiffin knows why, and failed to convert.
Allen has posted a new career high and his first two touchdowns as a B-back. And only fumbled .5 times! It was kind of Joshua Nesbitt's fault too!
Butler broke up two deep passes into the end zone in one series and notched Tech’s only takeaway, stripping a Virginia receiver in the open field.
And Scott Blair. Blair continued his kicking streak, adding two more to his total today.
Two Anthony Allen drives highlighted Tech’s most recent scoring drive: a 44-yarder to enter Cav turf, and an 18-yard break up the gut for the score.
Allen now has 169 yards and two touchdowns, already his best game since converting to B-back.
A penalty-limited run by Perry Jones drove Virginia inside Tech’s 30, with a pass interference penalty on Dominique Reese setting up three straight runs by Keith Payne, the last of which ended with Payne in the end zone.
Al Groh’s crew has now given up two big plays and a crucial penalty, but has held his ex to 175 yards despite multiple Tech turnovers.
Tech’s first takeaway of the day, a fumble forced and recovered by Mario Butler, resulted in an 11-play, 41-yard touchdown drive that featured two more Joshua Nesbitt fumbles. One was a bobbled snap, and the other slipped out as Nesbitt dove for a fourth down conversion.
By my count, that’s four fumbles and a fumbleception for Tech’s backfield today.
Anthony Allen mercy-killed this drive, slugging through for a six-yard score and topping 100 yards for the second time this year.
How is that even possible? Three turnovers, if you count a failed fourth-down try as a turnover. You probably should.
Take away the one touchdown run, and Al Groh’s squashing his former employer. Tech’s pass rush is actually looking somewhat serious, with Marc Verica taking a pair of shots late in the half. Verica has barely had any chances to throw more than ten or fifteen yards down the field.
The home crowd is much, much louder and fuller than it’s been all year — from what I’m seeing on TV at least (reports from attendees leave the fullness part up for debate) — likely due to tolerable October temperatures. Don’t even trip; it gets hot on those metal bleachers. And it’s homecoming. I don’t know. Speculating.
Anthony Allen ran for 20 yards into Virginia’s red zone, Tech’s sixth play of 20 or more yards today, and after a pair of rumbles by Lucas Cox the Jackets looked set to take the lead until Joshua Nesbitt’s pitch to Embry Peeples wasn’t so much a fumble as it was intercepted. A defender tipped it into the air, resulting in a jump ball in the backfield.
A jump ball in the backfield.
The things you see while watching Georgia Tech games are unlike things you see in any other kind of football game.
Knew it couldn’t last forever.
Virginia started with decent field position after Joshua Nesbitt overthrew Tyler Melton on fourth down. The Cavs’ fullback Max Millen, who is also a cartoon villain, ambled up the middle (so sick of typing “up the middle”) for a 37-yard touchdown.
Steven Sylvester earned extra credit right after, gaining a roughing the kicker penalty that will give Tech a chance to do one of those 13-minute drives if they don’t fumble first.
It’s like 2008 out here. Another Joshua Nesbitt-handoff-to-Anthony Allen fumble.
During Paul Johnson’s first year, the intricacies of flexbone option ball distribution resulted in the ball spending a whole lot of time on the turf. Last year the Jackets only fumbled twice, but so far this year it’s closer to three, as this From The Rumble Seat chart shows.
Tech’s defense hasn’t allowed the Cavs to take advantage, with Virginia missing a 50-yard field goal on this drive, but Virginia’s offense isn’t really trying all that hard. Almost all of their passes have been uninspired screens of some sort. Marc Verica has four completions for nine yards, the most ACC stat line of the day.
They’ve clearly read the book on Al Groh’s crew, going for all sorts of runs up the middle, but it’s not working for some reason. Life is strange.
Joshua Nesbitt already has three plays of 20 yards or more, running for 24, throwing for 34, and throwing for 31.
I promise not to clog your Twitter feed with updates on every three-and-out in this game, but it’s worth noting that in Al Groh’s first series against Virginia since being fired by the Cavs (not that he had a whole lot of series against Virginia while coaching there, though I guess some would disagree), Tech’s defense stopped three straight runs. That doesn’t happen very often.
Tech moved the ball into the red zone with relative ease, boosted by a 31-yard pass from Joshua Nesbitt to Stephen Hill. Tech added five straight runs for positive yardage before a fumble* cost the Jackets 13 yards. Scott Blair kicked a 40-yard field goal, remaining perfect this season.
From The Rumble Seat grills From Old Virginia in the prepositioniest college football blog discussion ever:
FTRS: Al Groh is at Georgia Tech now and he probably has a silent vendetta against the Wahoos for firing him and the Hokies for getting him fired. Are you, the UVA fan base, concerned about his knowledge of the weaknesses and nuances of the Wahoo personnel? What will UVA’s Groh-less-defense look like on Saturday?
FoV: Well, a lot of UVA fans are furious at Groh for going to a division rival. So if they also tell you they’re not worried about what he knows about us and how to scheme for us, they’re lying. No doubt Groh knows exactly how to attack Verica and this offense – it’s not too different from what he used to do.
But London ditched Groh’s 3-4 and switched to a 4-3. So the difference in scheme there will be night and day. It’ll also be a lot smaller and quicker, which worries me against GT: I always felt like Groh’s 3-4 with beefy, NFL-sized (though slower) players was the best counter to GT’s triple option.
FTRS: Since Bill Lewis was fired in 1994, Georgia Tech has gone 13-2 in their last 15 homecomings. The only losses were to Clemson in 1995 and UVA in 2008. Marc Verica played lights out in that 2008 game against Tech. Is the light on for Verica in 2010?
FoV: It’s….flickering. Pretty much like it always does. You guys were unlucky enough to get Verica minus most of the mistakes, which ends up being a pretty good quarterback. He was very definitely bad against FSU and wasn’t too great against USC. Your defense is somewhere between FSU and VMI/Richmond, and will, I think, actually be the first really fair test of Verica’s skills this season. We all knew, or should have, that the first four games were going to either provide no challenge or overmatch him.
See the rest here.
Virginia football, like Georgia Tech football, does not have a blogosphere of impressive size, so a blog roundup should be a very brief exercise for us. Today, let's check in with From Old Virginia.
From Old Virginia highlights a few roster worries heading into the Cavs' game against Tech:
There are some depth chart changes that I'd either really like to see or wouldn't be surprised to. Like I said earlier, [DT John-Kevin Dolce] should revert to his pass-rush role; he's getting blown up against the run. GT will exploit that mercilessly. And the O-line is hopefully still an evaluation in progress. I'd also like to replace the blank spots on the depth chart behind the two-deep at defensive back with actual scholarship players, but we can't have everything.
FOV is also all worked up about an AJC whoopsie:
The lead guy at CavsCorner, Chris Wallace, mentioned that some numbnuts at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked this question of Mike London: "What changes have you made since taking over as head coach?" (I would have told him the only thing I did was paint the equipment shed, just to see what he prints.) This must be the guy:
Both Virginia and Groh have moved on. London, the first African-American coach in the history of Virginia athletics, has brought excitement to a program needing a boost.Mr. Huff? Dave Leitao for you on line 1. It's no wonder the newspaper industry is slowly disappearing and practically every major newspaper in the country is, like the AJC, a hyphenated combination of two papers that would have failed on their own. I realize he's only one coach off, but this is a basic, fundamental statement of a plain fact that is plain wrong, and this man is somehow paid actual legal tender to do less research for his job than I do for my hobby, which is this blog that mucks around with an audience that is occasionally measured as low as the mere dozens. As opposed to the (theoretically) millions that get their information from his paper.
Mike London is the first black football coach at Virginia, but not the first black coach at Virginia.
Series history: Virginia leads, 16-15-1. They've won five of the past seven meetings. Until last year, Tech hadn't won in Charlottesville since 1990. Speaking of 1990...
No. 16 Georgia Tech (7-0-1) traveled to face No. 1 Virginia (7-0), led by eventual College Football Hall of Fame coach George Welsh; nimble artillery piece QB Shawn Moore, the nation's top-rated quarterback; and six-foot-five, future three-time NFL All-Pro WR Herman Moore. They had a defense that had allowed two or fewer scores in all but one game, and an offense that led the country in both points and yards.
They had won the ACC the previous year and had returned nearly every starter, and by the time Tech came to town the Cavs hadn't lost since a August, 1989 game against No. 2 Notre Dame.
The Jackets were going to get flattened. After an act of vandalism required turf from Virginia's baseball field to be imported into Scott Stadium, Virginia led 13-0 in the second quarter and 28-14 at halftime.
Back-to-back turnovers by LB Calvin Tiggle set Tech up to tie. They soon led, 38-35, and a goal line stand featuring a tipped pass by Tiggle led to another tie with two minutes to go.
Tech QB Shawn Jones put together a drive from his own 24, setting up a 37-yard attempt by K Scott Sisson. The final drive, the kick, and a teary Bobby Ross:
Fox 5's live postgame report:
The win vaulted Tech into the top ten for the first time since Bobby Dodd retired in 1966, and the Jackets went on to win their first national title in 38 years, requiring nary a fifth down. The program had spent at least a decade in total irrelevance, and would return shortly after until George O'Leary took over, but for one year Dodd's program was back on top.
I was almost nine years old. 41-38 remains the greatest Georgia Tech win of my lifetime, and it occurred about two months into my fanhood. I sort of assumed this kind of thing would happen all the time.
Last meeting: Tech won, 34-9, the biggest margin of victory since 2000, when O'Leary's boys beat the Cavs 35-0. By comparison, I have almost nothing to say about this game.
Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh has coached against his previous employers before. He's had four stints in the ACC and two in the AFC East, among various other coaching jobs (including a year as Falcons special teams coordinator), so none of this is all that new for him.
Saturday will be his first game against the team he coached the previous season since 1997, when he went against the Patriots as the Jets' new linebackers coach. The Jets split the season series.
A defensive end at Virginia in the '60s, this is also Groh's first game against his school since a 30-28 loss to the Cavs as Wake Forest head coach.
When you've been around as long as Al Groh has, nothing ever really happens for the first time.
Comparing resumes: All three of Tech's wins (South Carolina State, North Carolina, Wake Forest) are better than either of Virginia's (Richmond, VMI), but the Cavs have better losses (by three to USC, by 20 to Florida State) than does Tech (by three to Kansas, by 17 to N.C. State).
Like your SEC neighbors, you are both fired.
Cavaliers to watch:
Mo Williams, still sulking after Ras-I Dowling, second-team All-ACC last year and a Phil Steele ACC first-teamer this year, will be charged with shutting down Stephen Hill and thus Tech's entire passing game. Last year Demaryius Thomas broke loose for 76 yards on three catches against the 'Hoos, but Hill is no Bay Bay.
That sentence contains the words 'Hoos and Bay Bay, and yet it makes sense.
Senior quarterback Marc Verica has looked great against awful defenses and terrible against decent ones, so this week will definitely clarify where Groh's squad stands.
Vegas says: Tech by 8.5. That shouldn't sound like a lot, but it does.
More to come.