<
>

Fumbles, penalties already a factor

10/24/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- We've already seen two fumbles -- both on punt returns -- and the second was costly, as it set Georgia Tech up on the Virginia 11-yard line. Twice so far, though, the Jackets have hurt themselves with penalties (was FSU starting a trend Thursday night?), and the 15-yard penalty for an illegal block forced the Jackets to settle for a field goal, despite getting as close as the 3-yard line.Virginia trails 3-0 right now.

One of the questions heading into this game was whether or not Georgia Tech's defense could continue the success it had in the upset over Virginia Tech last week, and at least on the Cavs' opening drive, it did. Equally as impressive, though, was how aggressive and disciplined Virginia looked on defense. This shouldn't be a surprise, as coach Al Groh is a defensive mind who isn't fazed by this offense. There was no doubt he was going to have them prepared, and containing the Jackets early is important. Of course, a false start penalty on fourth down didn't help Georgia Tech, either, on its opening drive.

Zane Parr started in place of injured defensive end Matt Conrath, but it was Nate Collins who came up with a huge stop to force third down.

With the way the rain is coming down, odds are we'll see a few more fumbles this game, but neither team can afford to add penalties to the list of problems.