|SEAN GLENNON 260 passing yards|
Sean Glennon threw for 260 yards in Charlottesville, Va., and the other half of Virginia Tech's quarterback rotation, Tyrod Taylor, ran for two touchdowns, as the No. 8 Hokies won the biggest game in the history of their rivalry with Virginia, 33-21, yesterday to advance to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
The Hokies (10-2, 7-1) also got a season-high 147 yards rushing from Branden Ore and six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown from Eddie Royal. They won their fourth straight in the series and eighth in the last nine meetings.
The victory earned Virginia Tech a rematch with No. 15 Boston College in Saturday's conference title game in Jacksonville, Fla. The Eagles rallied with two touchdowns in the final 2:11 to stun the Hokies, 14-10, in Blacksburg on Oct. 25.
No. 16 Virginia (9-3, 6-2) led late in the second quarter before an interception by Brandon Flowers with 40 seconds to go turned into a three-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that left the crowd of 61,711 stunned. Up, 20-14, the Hokies never trailed again.
Taylor scored on runs of 9 and 5 yards, the second with 11:50 remaining to give Virginia Tech a 30-21 lead. After Virginia was forced to punt, the Hokies drove to the Cavaliers' 9-yard line, and Jud Dunlevy's fourth field goal completed the scoring.
Dunlevy also kicked a 29-yarder early in the second half to make it 23-14, capping a short drive set up when Davon Morgan blocked Ryan Weigand's punt from the Cavaliers' 38.
The stakes had never been so high in the previous 88 meetings between the teams. Late in the third quarter, Virginia seemed poised to make it go down to the wire.
Lombardi Award finalist Chris Long, quiet up to that point, sacked Taylor at the Hokies' 28. The freshman fumbled, and Antonio Appleby recovered for the Cavaliers.
Jameel Sewell, who ran for two touchdowns, kept the ensuing drive alive with a 17-yard pass to a diving Jonathan Stupar on third and 12 from the 19. He then ran it in on the next play to pull Virginia within 23-21, and fire up the home crowd. But the Cavaliers never got closer.
After an exchange of punts, the Hokies struck again.
Glennon hit Josh Morgan for 25 yards, and Ore went off left tackle for 25 more, putting the ball at the Cavaliers' 16. Five plays later, Taylor replaced Glennon at quarterback and took off on a delay for the left corner of the end zone.
Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 17 - In Atlanta, Matthew Stafford ran for one touchdown and threw for another, Thomas Brown rushed for 130 yards, and the sixth-ranked Bulldogs stretched their winning streak over the Yellow Jackets to seven.
Late in the third quarter, Georgia (10-2) learned its hopes of winning the SEC East crown ended when Tennessee defeated Kentucky, 52-50, in a four-overtime thriller.
Georgia Tech (7-5) hasn't beaten Georgia since 2000, and there's plenty of speculation that this latest loss could cost coach Chan Gailey his job. He dropped to 0-6 against the Yellow Jackets' biggest rival, and athletic director Dan Radakovich has said he'll evaluate the program after the season.
Georgia closed the regular season as hot as any team in the country, winning six straight. Even though the Bulldogs won't get to play for their conference title, they are definitely in line for a BCS bowl invitation.
Tashard Choice led the Yellow Jackets with 134 yards rushing, including a 12-yard touchdown. Taylor Bennett threw a 17-yard TD pass to Colin Peek in an otherwise forgettable performance.
Bennett was 8 of 22 for 123 yards, and the Yellow Jackets also tried freshman Josh Nesbitt and Calvin Booker at quarterback, without much success.
Florida 45, Florida St. 12 - Tim Tebow threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores to carry the 12th-ranked Gators in Gainesville, Fla.
Florida (9-3) scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, building a big lead that eased the pressure on its young defense, which has struggled much of the season.
After missing the last two games because of migraine headaches, Percy Harvin returned and ran 16 times for 157 yards. He scored on a 24-yard run with three minutes to play.
The Gators have won four in a row in the series, the longest streak since winning their sixth straight in 1986.
Tebow, who could become the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, finished 19 of 28 for 262 yards. The sophomore also carried 13 times for 89 yards.
Drew Weatherford completed 20 of 37 passes for 188 yards for the Seminoles (7-5). Preston Parker ran 12 times for 48 yards and caught six passes for 55 yards.
Clemson 23, South Carolina 21 - Mark Buchholz hit a 35-yard field as time expired to give the 21st-ranked Tigers (9-3) the win in Columbia, S.C., and leave Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier with the longest losing streak of his college career.
Buchholz had missed two field goal attempts, but he nailed the one that counted most and his teammates leaped in celebration at Williams-Brice Stadium.
For Spurrier and South Carolina (6-6), the defeat was their fifth straight. The Gamecocks looked ready to end the skid in this one, overcoming Clemson's 17-7 lead to go ahead, 21-20, with nine minutes left on the last of Blake Mitchell's three TD throws.
However, Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper guided the Tigers into position. He found Aaron Kelly with a 12-yard pass on fourth and 4. The two connected again moments later on an 18-yard pass to South Carolina's 16. That's when Buchholz calmly hit the winner.
Wake Forest 31, Vanderbilt 17 - Alphonso Smith had two interceptions to lead a Demon Deacons defense that forced five turnovers in Nashville, shattering any chance the Commodores (5-7) had to make their first bowl game in 25 years.
Smith's two interceptions gave him eight for the year, making him Wake Forest's season interception leader.
Josh Adams added 111 yards rushing and two TDs for the Demon Deacons (8-4) to seal an eight-win season for only the fifth time in school history. Wake Forest also ended its four-game losing streak against the Commodores.
Maryland 37, N.C. State 0 - At Raleigh, N.C., Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore rushed for two touchdowns apiece as the Terrapins routed the Wolfpack.
Maryland (6-6, 3-5) posted its first shutout since 2004 and became bowl eligible for the second consecutive year. The Terrapins scored on four straight possessions in the first half.
The Wolfpack's faint bowl hopes were dashed in an unexpectedly lopsided game to close out Tom O'Brien's first season as coach. Maryland came in having lost four of five, while N.C. State (5-7, 3-5) had won four of five.
North Carolina 20, Duke 14 - Greg Little ran for a career-high 154 yards and the go-ahead 25-yard score in overtime to lead the host Tar Heels (4-8, 3-5).