The Virginia Cavaliers were no match for ACC’s Coastal Division champions Saturday, as the Virginia Tech Hokies dominated all aspects of the game en route to a 37-7 victory on senior day in Blacksburg. The Hokies rushed for four touchdowns and held the Cavaliers to 291 total yards of offense. It was Virginia Tech’s seventh consecutive victory in the Battle for the Commonwealth Cup and the thirteenth consecutive defeat for Virginia in the month of November.
Familiar mistakes put Virginia in a deep hole early in the game. Despite outgaining the Hokies by four yards in the first half, the Cavaliers trailed 17-0 at the break because of costly penalties, poor execution, and a turnover deep in their own territory. Starting the second quarter, quarterback Marc Verica threw his 14th interception of the season to safety Eddie Whitley who returned the ball to the Virginia four yard line. The Hokies punched it into the endzone on the next play. On Virginia’s next possession, the Cavaliers failed to convert a fake punt near midfield. Three plays later the Hokies scored their second touchdown of the game on a screen pass to tailback David Wilson. It was a lead that was more than enough to subdue Virginia’s offense.
For Virginia Tech fans, it was a picture perfect ending to the career of senior Tyrod Taylor, who will finish as the all-time winningest quarterback in school history and the team’s leader in passing yards. Taylor received an impassioned ovation from the crowd at Lane Stadium as Frank Beamer replaced him with back-up Logan Thomas in the fourth quarter. While the Hokies had every reason to celebrate their tenth straight 10-win season, head coach Frank Beamer was quick to point out that more work is left to be done. “I think we feel good about where we are right now and where this team will be thought of when you look back in history,” Beamer said “But that’s yet to be determined. We’ve got two more games that could put us up there right at the top, in my opinion.” Virginia Tech will play Florida State in the ACC championship game next weekend.
In looking across the field at the post-game celebration, Virginia coach Mike London got an image of where he wants to take his team in the future. “They’re the measuring stick right now,” London said. “That’s what I aspire to be. This is very humbling. With humility I see how far we have to go.” The Cavaliers finish the season at 4-8 and 1-7 in the conference.