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Georgia Tech Holds Off Virginia, 23-15

Oct 26, 2002

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By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech didn’t let Virginia pull off another second-half miracle.

A.J. Suggs passed for 220 yards, and the Yellow Jackets ran for 211, holding on for a 23-15 victory Saturday that snapped Virginia’s six-game winning streak.

Georgia Tech (5-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) had lost its last two games, but the Yellow Jackets built a 23-0 lead at halftime and withstood another comeback by the Cavaliers (6-3, 4-2).

Virginia, which has outscored opponents 192-76 in the second half, rallied the previous week to beat North Carolina after trailing 21-0 at halftime. The Cavs almost did it again, getting close when quarterback Matt Schaub scored on an 8-yard run and converted a two-point play with 2:58 remaining.

Virginia had a final chance, but Jeremy Muyres made an interception falling out of bounds at the Georgia Tech 14 with 1:25 remaining.

Suggs threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kerry Watkins, P.J. Daniels scored on a 1-yard run and Luke Manget kicked three field goals to give Georgia Tech its halftime cushion.

Virginia made another second-half charge, beginning with its first possession. Schaub hooked up with Jason Snelling on a 12-yard scoring pass.

The Cavs wasted other chances. Schaub threw incomplete on fourth-and-4 at the Georgia Tech 6 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Virginia also drove to the Tech 25 before being stopped on downs.

A year ago, the Cavs defeated the Yellow Jackets 39-38 on a hook-and-ladder play with 22 seconds remaining.

This time, Georgia Tech held off Virginia with a punishing ground game. Daniels rushed for 95 yards and Gordon Clinkscale added 74.

When the Yellow Jackets run like that, they win. They’ve averaged 222 yards rushing in their five victories, compared to 120 in the three losses.

Virginia was trying to win seven in a row for the first time since 1990, when it started the season 7-0 and climbed to No. 1 in the polls for the only time in school history. Georgia Tech ended that streak with a 41-38 upset in Charlottesville.

The Cavs were hoping to become bowl eligible after missing out last season. They still need only one victory, but the rest of the schedule is extremely tough with games against three ranked teams – Penn State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech – along with a home game against defending ACC champion Maryland.

Schaub completed 41 of 58 passes for 372 yards, but the Cavs rushed for just 53 yards.

Georgia Tech set the tone with its first possession. Clinkscale broke free around left end for a 37-yard gain; two plays later, Daniels powered over from the 1 to make it 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

After Manget kicked field goals of 25 and 40 yards, Georgia Tech surprised the Cavs by going to a no-huddle offense. Clinkscale went 13 yards with a pass from Suggs, then Daniels ripped off runs of 14 and 12 yards. Finally, Watkins broke free over the middle and hauled in the 12-yard touchdown pass.

The Yellow Jackets tacked on another field goal before the half ended, taking advantage when the officials put one second back on the clock. Manget booted a 19-yard field goal.

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