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‘Dogs fend off Cavs

October 2, 2012

 

JOHN TABOR
Staff Writer

 

Leading up to last Saturday’s tussle in Charlottesville, Va., Tech had blown opponents off the field with its high-octane offense, averaging 54.6 points a game.

 

However, the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia posted a new and unexpected threat.

 

After falling behind the Cavs 24-7 midway through the second quarter, the Bulldogs responded with a furious comeback. Tech outlasted UVA 44-38 in the see-saw battle for football supremacy.

 

Senior running back Ray Holley sandwiched two rushing touchdowns around a 40-yard field goal from senior kicker Matt Nelson to end the first half.

 

Holley expressed his pleasure with Tech’s current winning streak.

 

“I think we’re doing a great job, we are on a roll,” Holley said. “We are trying to keep the ball rolling, but we’ve got a ways to go.”

 

Tech added a 14-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Colby Cameron alongside a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown from redshirt senior linebacker Chip Hester.

 

Finishing with a second field goal of 45 yards from Nelson, the ‘Dogs ran off 34 straight points to amass a 44-24 lead with 12 minutes and 47 seconds remaining in the game.

 

Head coach Sonny Dykes talked about his confidence coming out of the locker room after halftime.

 

“That’s kind of the way we’ve played this year,” Dykes said. “If you look at us in the third quarter, we’ve been a very, very good third quarter football team and we’ve just tried to hold on to our rear ends in the fourth-quarter.”

 

Despite the Tech scoring barrage of the third quarter, Virginia clawed back into the game with two late, fourth quarter TD throws from backup quarterback Phillip Sims.

 

Nevertheless, the Cavaliers’ comeback went all for naught. Tech was able salt the game away after a bewildering sequence of events including a fourth down and one play in which the UVA defense was penalized for an illegal substitution.

 

Throughout the first month of the season, the Bulldog offense has made the headlines. However, the defense made a serious impact against Virginia with three key takeaways.

 

Chip Hester combined with seniors Quinn Giles and Dave Clark on the interceptions, which accumulated 87 crucial return yards.

 

Hester spoke about his good fortune involving his exciting third quarter pick six.

 

“Sometimes you are in the right place, and the football gods bless you,” Hester said. “I looked back and the ball was coming right toward me, so I took it and did what I had to do.”

 

While the Tech defense continued to bend to the tune of 625 total yards of offense for Virginia, it never broke as the Bulldogs escaped with their fourth straight victory to start the season.

 

Coach Dykes shared his thoughts about the yardage given up by the Tech defense.

 

“I’ve been on the other side of those games, too, and they are tough because Virginia probably outplayed us today,” Dykes said. “I think the difference was we did a better job taking care of the football and causing some turnovers.”

 

Although many fans hoped for a cracking of the Top 25 polls, it was not to be this week as Tech remained in the others receiving votes segment with 37 votes, good enough for a ranking of 32.

 

Cameron mentioned his thoughts about the ‘’Dogs’ possible ranking.

 

“We are just going to keep playing no matter what,” Cameron said. “It is a great accomplishment, but at the same time there are teams that are in the Top 25 and then get booted out the next week. For us, I think we are just going to take it on a week-by-week basis, and that can really put us in good positions in the future.”

 

Email comments to jmt028@latech.edu.

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