All that concern surrounding the possibilities of Virginia becoming bowl-eligible — well, it’s gone now.
The Cavaliers got their sixth win by upsetting Georgia Tech 40-36 on Saturday at Scott Stadium. And here are five thoughts following the Hoos’ triumph:
1. The conditions were even worse than they appeared.
Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert said the weather was not as bad all day as it was on the Cavaliers’ game-winning touchdown drive.
“On that last drive, it was pouring,” Benkert said. “On a scale from zero to 100, where 100 is the worst, that was 100.
“I think the most difficult part of it is, you get a different ball every play and you don’t know what it’s going to feel like till you catch it from the center.”
2. Andre Levrone had a career moment.
The fifth-year senior, one of several UVa wideouts who dropped passes in the second quarter, had touchdown receptions of 27 and 33 yards in the second half, the latter serving as the game winner with 1:22 left.
“It’s one of the favorite games I’ve ever played in my life,” Levrone said. “I was blessed to be able to go out there and make some big plays for my team in clutch moments.
“Kurt just signaled me. He saw press coverage and was like, ‘All right. I trust my guy.’ He hit me earlier on the left side and I was on the left side again.
“On that last one, there were a lot of emotions. I try my very best not to allow the moment to be bigger than my preparation.”
3. Schedule Georgia Tech in November.
Under head coaches Mike London and Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia has gone 3-17 in the month of November, with two of the Cavaliers victories coming over the Yellow Jackets, who were 27-21 losers against London’s final team in 2015.
London was 2-4 against the Yellow Jackets in his six seasons, going 2-1 at home, including a 24-21 victory over then-No. 12 Georgia Tech in 2011, which was the last year the Cavaliers went to a bowl.
4. Lester Coleman continues to be a factor.
Martinsville’s Coleman entered Saturday’s game with an ACC-leading 16 punts downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and had four more Saturday.
Despite punting twice from inside Georgia Tech territory, Coleman averaged 46 yards, including three fourth-quarter punts that were downed inside the Yellow Jackets’ 15-yard line. A 63-yarder to start the fourth quarter matched his season’s high.
“Lester was a huge influence on the game,” Mendenhall said.
5. Mendenhall managed to relieve the pressure.
We’ll let the coach’s words express the fifth thought:
“It reached the point where [the pressure] was so pervasive, that it became evident after the Pittsburgh game [a 31-14 road loss] that I had to do something different,” Mendenhall said Saturday. “They played exactly as I would have hoped today in terms of just , I think [being] fearless.
“I’m not sure there’s anything that feels better than this right now. These guys have tried really hard for a year and a half just to be noticed. They have a special place in my heart and they have earned that. I’m lucky I can work with them.”