A week after the Miracle on Techwood Drive, there was no happy ending for Georgia Tech. Virginia dominated the Jackets 27-21 with a shutdown defensive performance, winning for the second time in three games. Here's a look at how it went down.
What the win means for Virginia: The Hoos got their most complete performance of the season, establishing the run early behind Taquan Mizzell, Daniel Hamm, Olamide Zaccheaus and Albert Reid. The Hoos ran for over 200 yards for a second consecutive game and set a season high in rushing for a third straight game, so perhaps their run game is finally trending in the direction they hoped it would when they revamped it during the offseason. The performance also was much-needed for the defense, which has struggled all season. Virginia came into the game ranked last in the ACC in total defense and scoring defense, so it had to feel good to limit Georgia Tech to less than 200 yards rushing. Virginia also scored 10 points off turnovers, their best output this season. A bowl game might not be out of the question for this team. At 3-5 (2-2 in the ACC), Virginia has several winnable games left during its final stretch against Miami, Louisville, Duke and Virginia Tech. What we saw was a team that has not given up on the season despite some early struggles. We'll see whether the Hoos can keep up their momentum.
What the loss means for Georgia Tech: Just when you think the Jackets had found some momentum after taking down Florida State a week ago, they lose for the fifth time in six games. Once again, the Jackets offense struggled to get anything going. Justin Thomas made a crucial fumble in the third quarter that changed the momentum of the game. At the time, the Jackets led 14-13. But Virginia converted the turnover into a touchdown and never trailed again. Georgia Tech gained less than 200 yards rushing for the third time this season. Thomas ended up with more passing yards (251) than Georgia Tech had total rushing yards (144). As for the Georgia Tech defense, this group had a difficult time with Adam Gotsis on the sideline. The Jackets' best defensive player injured his knee on the first drive and sat out the rest of the game. Georgia Tech (3-6, 1-5) is now staring at the very real possibility its 18-year bowl streak will be snapped. It has to win out over Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia to get back to the postseason.
Stat of the game: 233. Virginia finished with more yards rushing than Georgia Tech, the first time that has happened since 2011.
How the game was won: Thomas threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Clinton Lynch with 1:41 remaining to close within 27-21. The Jackets recovered the onside kick. Was another miracle in store? Not this time. Thomas threw incomplete on fourth down, and Virginia hung on to win.