NCAA

No. 24 Hokies shut out Cavaliers in Commonwealth Cup

vt_commonwealth_cup_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

No. 24 Hokies shut out Cavaliers in Commonwealth Cup

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  -- Virginia Tech defensive tackle Ricky Walker's eyes got wide when he heard the number: The No. 24 Hokies held Virginia to 5 rushing yards Friday night, and 191 yards in all, in a 10-0 victory. It was their 14th straight win in the series and third shutout of the season.

"To shut out somebody is pretty hard nowadays," the redshirt junior said. "I'm proud, man. That's great."

The Hokies did it with a familiar formula, even with several defensive starters not even making the trip because of injuries.

"We were a little bit of a MASH unit coming in here," defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. His unit was without safety Terrell Edmunds, defensive lineman Vinny Mihota and linebacker Mook Reynolds, all because of injuries, and never let Virginia deeper than the 23 yard-line.

"They understand the expectations around here, Foster said of defenders like Houshun Gaines, who made his first career start at defensive end and recovered a fumble to set up the Hokies' touchdown, Emmanuel Belmar, who started at the other end spot, and Khalil Ladler, who started in place of Reynolds, the team's No. 3 tackler. "This is a big game. It's a big game for a year," Foster added.

Josh Jackson turned the fumble recovery on the second play of the second half into a touchdown in four plays. He hit Chris Cunningham in the back left corner of the end zone after the Cavaliers defenders bit on a run fake, and the defense did the rest to keep the streak alive.

"I think it's probably the best team win of the year," Walker said.

The Hokies (9-3, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won this game 52-10 last year, also had some luck on their side.

Virginia (6-6, 3-5) had two golden opportunities for touchdowns, but Juan Thornhill slipped after intercepting a pass with nothing but 60 yards of green grass in front of him. Later, speedy wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus caught a slant pattern that looked like it might go 89 yards, but as he was just hitting his stride, he was caught from behind by Deon Newsome, the only player with a chance, after just 28 yards.

"Deon's pretty fast, Hokies coach Justin Fuente said. "For him to get him on the ground so we could live to fight another day was huge."

Jackson was thrilled to see Thornhill go down after jumping a route.

"I would have had to make a tackle, so I guess it's good that he fell," he said,

The Hokies remain unbeaten against Virginia since joining the ACC in 2004, but Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall was encouraged.

"The gap has closed and that's obvious, I think, to anyone," he said. "But not enough to where we won the game."

After the first six series of the game ended in punts, Brian Johnson, subbing for Virginia Tech's injured career field goal record-holder Joey Slye, kicked a 30-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Jackson later converted a lost fumble by Virginia's Chris Sharp on the second play of the second half. After a 25-yard pass to Hezekiah Grimsley to start it, he finished it with an 8-yard scoring pass to Cunningham.

It was the redshirt freshman's 19th touchdown pass of the season.

The Cavaliers' best two penetrations into Hokies territory ended in a missed 41-yard field goal try just before halftime, and a comedy of errors in the fourth quarter. With the crowd exhorting the home team, Kurt Benkert drove them to the Hokies 30 and appeared to have hit Doni Dowling with a 16-yard pass. But a review overturned the call, and Dowling was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct after the following play for pushing a Virginia Tech player. A few plays later, defensive end Andrew Brown was ejected for a personal foul on the sideline.

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

wilkins_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

ATLANTA -- De'Andre Hunter scored 17 points and No. 2 Virginia won its ninth straight game, 64-48 over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

It was another defensive masterpiece by the Cavaliers (17-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who limited Georgia Tech to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

LASTEST DMV POWER RANKS: MANY TEAMS HAVE BUILT UP WINNING STREAKS

Virginia snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-2).

After making the first basket of the game, Georgia Tech quickly got an idea of what kind of night it would be. The Jackets missed their next eight shots and turned it over four times before Josh Okogie finally broke a nearly eight-minute scoreless drought with a dunk off a backdoor pass.

Virginia led 28-19 at halftime, and Georgia Tech never got any closer the rest of the way.

The last gasp for the home team essentially came in the closing seconds of the first half. It looked as though the Jackets would go to the locker room on a bit of a high after Curtis Haywood hit his second 3-pointer of the first half, closing the gap to 24-19.

But Hunter got free in the corner and knocked down a trey with 0.1 seconds left in the half, turning it into a four-point play when Abdoulaye Gueye foolishly went for the block and sent the Virginia player sprawling to the court.

The free throw gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the half.

BRACKETOLOGY ROUND-UP: WHERE DO THE 'EXPERTS' HAVE THE CAVS

They steadily pulled away over the final 20 minutes. Ty Jerome added 12 points, while Devon Hall and Kyle guy had 11 apiece.

Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech with 14 points. No one else was in double figures.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers held an opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season. They came into the night allowing the fewest points of any Division I team, and actually improved on their 52.9 average.

Georgia Tech: Okogie, averaging 18.8 points per game, struggled to get open and finished with just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. Big man Ben Lammers had an even tougher night, hitting just 1 of 5 shots and finishing with four points. It was an especially disappointing performance considering the Yellow Jackets drew their first sellout of the season at 8,600-seat McCamish Pavilion.

RELATED: HOOS UP TO NO. 2 IN AP POLL

George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

usatsi_9730641.jpg

George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- Yuta Watanabe scored 19 points, Terry Nolan Jr. had 18 points, six steals and six assists and George Washington beat George Masson 80-68 Wednesday night in the Revolutionary Rivalry.

Nolan started the scoring with a 3-point play, Watanabe made back-to-back layups and George Washington (9-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) began with an 11-2 run. The lead swelled to 22-10 before the Patriots reduced the deficit to 29-28 with a 3-pointer from Javon Greene with 4:20 left before halftime. Ian Boyd scored seven points during the 18-7 run. George Washington closed out the half with a 15-7 run and led 44-29 at the break.

Jaire Grayer and Greg Calixte made back-to-back jumpers and the Patriots closed to 56-48, Goanar Mar had a 3 to make 68-60, but the Colonials led by double figures most of the second half.

Bo Zeigler scored 18 and missed just 2 of 11 shot attempts and Jair Bolden scored 16 for George Washington.

Mar led George Mason (9-10, 3-3) with 17 points, Justin Kier 13, Grayer 11 and Boyd had 10. The Patriots fell to 0-9 against George Washington since joining the conference.