CHARLOTTESVILE, Va. (AP) — Braxton Burmeister threw for one touchdown, caught a pass for another and Virginia Tech ran for 320 yards and handed Virginia its fourth straight loss, 29-24 [Saturday]. Burmeister, who ran for 115 yards, hit Tayvion Robinson for a 61-yard touchdown and caught a 3-yard pass from Robinson on a double-reverse as the Hokies (6-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won for the 17th time in the last 18 meetings. They also achieved bowl eligibility for the 28th time in 29 years.
J.C. Price hasn’t masked his emotions or love for Virginia Tech since he was chosen to replace Justin Fuente as the Hokies interim coach early last week. The former Hokies player was able to unleash them Saturday night, celebrating on the field with the Hokies, their fans and his family after a 29-24 victory at Virginia.
“I’m just so happy for these kids,” he said. “Yeah, somebody pinch me. I’m so happy, I don’t know whether to laugh, cry. It’s going to be a fun bus ride home.” “I told them this week that there was no moral victory. We’re either going to win or we’re going to lose, and the kids found a way to win,” Price said.
Virginia (6-6, 4-4), limited to three second-half points, drove to the Virginia Tech 9 after recovering a fumble with just over 3 minutes left, but Brennan Armstrong’s pass to Ra’Shaun Henry in the end zone on fourth-and 13 from the 14 with 35 seconds left fell incomplete, capping a wild final few minutes.
“A lot of times that’s what happens in a close game or a rivalry game, and the team that makes the plays is the winner,” Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
Raheem Blackshear lead the Hokies ground attack with 169 yards on 18 carries, including a 50-yarder, and Burmeister got his on just 12, including a 71-yard burst. The Hokies had three plays that covered at least 50 yards.
The ending was up in the air until the final minute when Armstrong’s pass fell incomplete. He earlier lost the ball on a fourth down scramble, the ball rolling into the Virginia end zone where offensive lineman Bobby Haskins recovered, giving the Hokies a safety and the ball. Three plays later, Hokies quarterback Connor Blumrick was stripped by Nick Grant and Olasunkonmi Agunloye recovered for Virginia at the Cavaliers’ 36, setting up the final fruitless drive.
The last two weeks have seen Virginia lose 48-38 at Pittsburgh, ending their chances to win the Coastal Division, and then lose to the Hokies. Both teams will await bowl invitations.