Cody Journell hit a 29-yard field goal as time expired on Saturday, as Virginia Tech beat Virginia for the ninth consecutive season, 17-14 in Lane Stadium.
“I am really proud of our football team,” said Frank Beamer, head coach. “The way the season has gone, there has been some tough losses. This team has never stopped playing hard and never stopped trusting each other.”
For the Hokies (6-6, 4-4 ACC), the victory means more than another year with the Commonwealth Cup, as their sixth win makes them bowl eligible for the 20th season in a row.
“We don’t want to be those guys,” said quarterback Logan Thomas. “We don’t want to be that team that doesn’t make a bowl and we don’t want to be that team that breaks the streak against UVa.
“We really needed to come together and win just to keep these streaks alive. I’m so proud of the way we played to do so.”
It wasn’t an easy victory by any means for the Hokies, who punted the ball nine times on the day, with eight of those coming in the first half.
Tech struck first on a nine-play, 55-yard drive early in the second quarter, concluding with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Randall Dunn.
But the Cavaliers (4-8, 2-6 ACC) continued to battle back, tying the game on a 42-yard pass from Michael Rocco to Tim Smith with three and a half minutes remaining in the first half.
UVa took the lead early in the third quarter after Thomas fumbled while being sacked by Jake Snyder and Eli Harold. Brent Urban picked it up on the 16-yard line, and took it into the end zone from there.
After another Tech punt on the ensuing possession, Virginia had an opportunity to take a two-score lead as Drew Jarrett lined up for a 38-yard field goal with the wind at his back.
But UVa head coach Mike London called for a fake, and holder Jacob Hodges was stopped two yards short of a first down, giving Tech the ball back on their own 15.