UVA gets by Georgia Tech, 33-28
Bryce Perkins threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Virginia shut down Georgia Tech after halftime in a 33-28 victory Saturday.
Wayne Taulapapa ran for two touchdowns for the Cavaliers (7-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who maintained their spot atop the Coastal Division. Virginia has a bye week ahead and then a home game against Liberty before closing the regular season at home against Virginia Tech, which has won the last 15 meetings.
James Graham threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third for the Yellow Jackets (2-7, 1-5). Jordan Mason ran for 94 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run that pulled Georgia Tech with 33-28 with 5:30 to play, but Virginia managed a pair of third-down conversions on the ensuing drive and ran out the clock.
Perkins hit Joe Reed for a 9-yard touchdown and scored on a 3-yard run, giving Virginia a 24-21 lead just before halftime. The Cavaliers touchdown came on a four-play drive that included a 43-yard run by Perkins from midfield. The drive came after Georgia Tech drove 65 yards on three completions -- the last a 25-yarder to Malachi Carter -- to take a 21-17 lead 44 seconds before halftime. Earlier, Graham hit Ahmarean Brown for a 59-yard score on the opening series of the game.
Graham finished 15 of 22 for a career high 229 yards.
Perkins completed 24 of 35 attempts for 256 yards and ran for 106 yards on 21 carries.
Georgia Tech: Graham came into the day having completed just 43.4% of his passes but showed far more effectiveness against the Cavaliers' depleted secondary, which has lost six players for the season to injury. Graham's 59-yard touchdown throw to Brown on the opening series represented more yardage than he managed all last week against Pittsburgh, when he was just 3 of 13 for 57 yards.
Virginia: Tavares Kelly took Reed's spot on kickoff returns and his 40-yard return to midfield set up Virginia's late touchdown just before halftime. Reed, who has five career kickoff return touchdowns, including two this season, was also back on that kick, but remains 11 yards shy of 3,000 career kickoff return yards.
Georgia Tech begins a three-game homestand to close the regular season against Virginia Tech next Saturday.
Virginia has a bye week before facing Liberty in the middle game of the three-game homestand.