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Virginia Escapes Tech, 16-9

THE FLATS – Despite forcing three turnovers and blocking two kicks, Georgia Tech saw its two-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday evening in a 16-9 loss to Virginia at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Playing without starting quarterback Jeff Sims for the final two-and-a-half quarters of the game, Tech (3-4, 2-2 ACC) was unable to capitalize on the four turnovers its defense created, managing just 140 yards over 10 offensive possessions after Sims left the game, which included six-straight three-and-outs to open the second half.

Strong safety LaMiles Brooks provided the Jackets with their only touchdown of the game on a 37-yard interception return midway through the first period, which gave the Yellow Jackets an early 6-0 lead.

After Virginia (3-4, 1-3 ACC) answered with a pair of touchdowns to take a 13-7 lead, Tech drove deep into UVA territory but settled for a 35-yard field goal from Gavin Stewart with less than a minute to go in the first half, which ended with the Cavaliers leading 13-9.

The only scoring after intermission came on UVA field goal midway through the third quarter.

Georgia Tech put together its best offensive drive of the second half late in the fourth quarter, as it drove across midfield for the first time in seven possessions, but a crucial procedure penalty that negated a 23-yard gain and a dropped pass for what would’ve been a first down on fourth-and-11 thwarted the opportunity and effectively ended any hopes for a comeback victory.

In addition to his interception return for a touchdown, Brooks also recovered a fumble for the Yellow Jackets. Zamari Walton also had an interception, while Zeke Biggers blocked a field goal and Daylon Gordon blocked a punt to lead the Jackets’ ball-hawking defense. Brooks and linebacker Charlie Thomas led all players with nine tackles apiece.

Making his Georgia Tech debut, quarterback Zach Gibson completed 10-for-25 passes for 99 yards and was sacked seven times after replacing Sims midway through the second quarter. Sims completed 6-of-11 passes for 47 yards in limited action. He had his streak of 131-consecutive pass attempts without an interception snapped when UVA picked off a tipped ball in the end zone midway through the first quarter.

Tech resumes action on Saturday, Oct. 29, with a noon kickoff at Florida State. The contest, which begins a stretch of four road trips in five games to close the regular season for the Yellow Jackets, kicks off at noon and will be televised live on ACC Network.

LaMiles Brooks had a fumble recovery and an interception, which he returned 37 yards for a touchdown, on Thursday night against Virginia (photo: Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik)

 

Postgame Notes

Team Notes

  • Georgia Tech dropped to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
  • The loss was Georgia Tech’s first in the month of October and snapped the Yellow Jackets’ two-game winning streak.
  • Georgia Tech fell to 21-22-1 all-time against Virginia.
  • Georgia Tech lost to Virginia at home for the first time since Oct. 25, 2008 (24-17), snapping the Yellow Jackets’ five-game home winning streak against UVA.
  • The loss was Georgia Tech’s third-straight to Virginia overall.
  • Playing without starting QB Jeff Sims, who left the game due to injury in the second quarter, Georgia Tech had only 41 total yards and four first downs in the second half.
  • Georgia Tech blocked two kicks in a game (field goal and punt) for only the 10th time in school history and the first time since the 2013 Music City Bowl vs. Ole Miss (Dec. 30, 2013).
  • Georgia Tech’s interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter (LaMiles Brooks – 37 yards) was its first since Oct. 5, 2018 at Louisville (Juanyeh Thomas – 95 yards).

 

Individual Notes

  • DB LaMiles Brooks had two takeaways on Virginia’s first two possessions of the game. He recovered a fumble forced by So. LB Trenilyas Tatum on Virginia’s first possession, then intercepted a pass that he returned 37 yards for a touchdown on UVA’s second possession. The fumble recovery was the first of Brooks’ career, the interception was the second of his career (prev.: at UCF – Sept. 24) and the touchdown was the first of his career.
  • The forced fumble was the first of Tatum’s career.
  • r-Jr. DB Zamari Walton’s second-quarter interception was his first of the season and the third of his career. It was his first INT in more than two years (last: vs. Clemson – Oct. 17, 2020).
  • DL Zeke Biggers’ field goal block in the third quarter was the first of his career.
  • r-Fr. RB Daylon Gordon’s punt block in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
Nate McCollum led Tech with five catches for 62 yards against Virginia (photo: Georgia Tech Athletics/Danny Karnik)

 

Multimedia

Coach Key Postgame Press Conference (Video)

Coach Key Postgame Press Conference (Audio)

Student-Athletes Postgame Press Conference

Game Highlights (ACC Digital Network)

Condensed Game (ACC Digital Network)

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