The streak is over: Virginia claims Coastal crown with first win over rival Hokies since 2003

The streak is over: Virginia claims Coastal crown with first win over rival Hokies since 2003

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The streak is over. Virginia snapped a 15-game losing streak to rival Virginia Tech in a 39-30 win on Friday to claim its first-ever Coastal Division title and book a ticket to the ACC Championship.

Now it's on to Clemson.

Here is how the Cavaliers pulled off their first win over the Hokies since 2003.

Perkins' hot start

Virginia scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game as quarterback Bryce Perkins ran the ball 39 yards into the end zone. Virginia Tech came into Saturday's game with consecutive shutouts and it took the Cavaliers just 2:46 to snap that streak.

UVA went 75 yards and Perkins had 70 of them, all on the ground. Later in the first, Perkins added another rushing touchdown, this time from 67 yards, and the Hokies looked like they were in big trouble.

Virginia had 158 yards of total offense in the first quarter and Perkins accounted for 141 yards of that on the ground alone.

Virginia's answer in the 3rd quarter

After failing to get into the end zone in the entire first half, Virginia Tech scored a touchdown on its opening drive and added a second midway through the quarter to take its first lead fo the game 20-13. At that point, the Cavaliers' defense looked vulnerable and the offense could not get anything going. Just as the game was starting to slip out of Virginia's hands, however, Perkins and the offense delivered with a massive seven-play, 79-yard drive capped off with a Perkins pass to Billy Kemp for the touchdown. That put the Cavaliers right back into the game.

The deep pass

Virginia Tech's secondary really opened up in the second half and Perkins took advantage. The Cavaliers completed passes of 42, 37, 30 and 67 yards all in the second half. Each one of those drives ended in points for Virginia.

Hooker's 4th quarter interception

With the game tied at 30, Virginia Tech had the ball at its own 47. The Hokies were backed into a third and 19 after taking two false start penalties giving an obvious passing situation. Quarterback Hendon Hooker's pass was intercepted by linebacker Noah Taylor.

Was Virginia Tech going to convert on a third and 19? No, but the play was a big one because it reversed the field position. The Hokies could have pinned Virginia deep with a punt. Instead, the Cavaliers started the next drive on their own 35. Virginia would go 34 yards on the following drive to set-up the game-winning field goal.

A 48-yard game-winner

Brian Delaney's game did not get off to a great start as he missed the extra point on Virginia's first touchdown drive. However, he was the hero in the end, as he nailed a 48-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining to put the Cavaliers ahead for good.

The last stand

Virginia Tech got the ball back after the field goal looking to extend the streak. Virginia's defense, however, could smell the blood in the water and swarmed Hooker three times. He was sacked by Zane Zandler on first down, sacked by Matt Gahm on second and stripped and sacked in the end zone by Mandy Alonso on third down. Eli Hanback would recover the fumble for the defensive touchdown.


George Mason grad transfer Justin Kier enters transfer portal, could return to Patriots

George Mason grad transfer Justin Kier enters transfer portal, could return to Patriots

George Mason got a mix of good news and bad news on Wednesday. Their senior Justin Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing the majority of the season due to injury. However, on the same day, Kier announced that he is entering the transfer portal. 

"I'm blessed to have been given this season back so I can play another year of college basketball. After a lot of prayer and discussion with my family, I've decided to enter the transfer portal," Kier said in his post. 

Kier also said that he has not ruled out the option of returning to the Patriots next year.

The 6-foot-4 guard will immediately eligible to play for whichever team he plays on for the 2020-21 season. Had it not been for an injury-filled senior year, he would have been a four-year starter for George Mason. 

Two injuries to his right foot limited Kier to only playing nine games. A big loss for Mason that struggled to find consistency without him on the floor. Just the year prior he was named the Atlantic 10's Most Improved Player and made the Second Team.

Kier's fifth season was never for certain. A waiver to earn a medical redshirt for the year was a long shot given that he had returned from the initial injury and played nearly a third of the season.

With his ball-handling, attacking nature, and all-around defensive skill set, there will be teams interested in Kier. Through his collegiate career, Kier has played both as a point guard and as a two-guard. Since he has left the option open to return for Mason, he would likely want to go somewhere that would allow him to start and contend for a postseason tournament. 


Elite point guard grad transfer Bryce Aiken is considering Maryland, here's why the Terps need him

Elite point guard grad transfer Bryce Aiken is considering Maryland, here's why the Terps need him

Harvard grad transfer Bryce Aiken has narrowed his final collegiate destination to four teams: Maryland, Seton Hall, Michigan and Iowa State, according to multiple reports. On Thursday, the point guard is set to be making his decision. 

While already being active on the transfer market this offseason, adding a point guard at the caliber of Aiken would be a huge boost for the Terrapins. 

Aiken is immediately eligible for his final season of NCAA action. This past year he suffered a foot injury in mid-December that ended his senior season. As a member of an Ivy League school, he cannot compete as a graduate student, leaving the opportunity to play elsewhere.

What's most enticing about Aiken is his playmaking ability. He's regarded as "the most coveted grad transfer in years" by 247sports. In his junior season with Harvard, he was a unanimous All-Ivy League selection. His 22.2 points per game made him one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball and one of the more efficient guards with a 43.4-39.8-85.5 shooting split.

Those numbers alone had him Naismith Trophy Watch List and Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award Watch List at the beginning of last year. A feat that matched four-year starter Anthony Cowan Jr. 

For Maryland, they need a point guard. Cowan wrapped up his eligibility this season. The depth behind him at the point was just Eric Ayala, who played best for the Terps at the wing and Serrel Smith Jr. who played more than 10 minutes once after January. While two freshman PGs are set to come in with this recruiting class, neither would be the answer to guide a team that lost their top two scoring options from last year. The team needs someone to fill into Cowan's spot and likely deliver more if they want to compete at the same level. 

Aiken, though, has the potential to fill-in to Cowan's role. Perhaps he could be even better in terms of scoring the ball. The Crimson grad shot better than Cowan did the last two seasons and is more of a knock-down shooter.

The 6-0 guard decides his fate on Thursday. With him, Maryland can pick up right where they left off from a year ago and be a preseason top-25 team. Without Aiken, the Terps likely are in a rebuild.