Nov. 20, 2004
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – Alvin Pearman scored two touchdowns and Virginia came up with four key turnovers, leading the 18th-ranked Cavaliers to a 30-10 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Virginia kept alive its hopes of at least sharing the Atlantic Coast Conference title, though the Cavaliers (8-2, 5-2) are still a longshot to claim the league’s spot in the Bowl Championship Series.
Pearman scored Virginia’s first touchdown on a 6-yard run late in the first quarter, and he finished off the Yellow Jackets (6-4, 4-4) with a 1-yard plunge in the opening minute of the fourth. Pearman set up his second TD by going 45 yards with a short pass, getting knocked out of bounds just shy of the end zone.
Georgia Tech had hoped to improve its bowl position before next week’s regular-season finale against No. 11 Georgia. Now, the Yellow Jackets are likely to get sent out West to a lower-tier game for the fourth year in a row.
Georgia Tech’s Reggie Ball fumbled once and threw two interceptions, both of which were passes picked off in the end zone by Marcus Hamilton. The first interception changed the complexion of the game, coming midway through the third quarter with Virginia clinging to a 10-3 lead.
The Cavaliers quickly regained control after Hamilton’s big play, driving 80 yards for a touchdown. Wali Lundy scored on a 32-yard run, bouncing outside and racing down the sideline for a 17-3 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Levon Thomas fumbled and Brandon Isaiah recovered for the Cavaliers at the 12, setting up Connor Hughes’ 27-yard field goal.
Hughes also connected from 33 and 43 yards.
Virginia followed its normal pattern for victory. Ranked fifth nationally with only eight turnovers, the Cavaliers didn’t have any fumbles or interceptions. Also, the ACC’s top rushing team finished with 207 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Virginia scored after all four of Georgia Tech’s turnovers, beginning in the opening period when Ball was stripped by Kai Parham, who also fell on the fumble at the Cavaliers 43.
Virginia quickly drove for Pearman’s first touchdown. A roughing-the-quarterback penalty on Eric Henderson helped move the drive along.
The Cavaliers led 10-0 at halftime, but Georgia Tech seized momentum after the break. The Yellow Jackets got a 34-yard field goal from Travis Bell, forced a punt and quickly moved back into Virginia territory. But Hamilton then made his crucial interception.
The Cavaliers were up 20-3 when they ended Georgia Tech’s last chance. On first-and-goal at the Virginia 6, Ball underthrew Levon Thomas in the end zone and Hamilton came up with his second interception.