Monday, October 17, 2005



Virginia's year of frustration and missed opportunities just got the kickstart it needed, taking down the previously undefeated #4 ranked Seminoles. A game with all the drama and determination of the classic battle 10 years ago, Virginia did just enough to win and FSU did just enough to lose.

Virginia was led by senior QB Marques Hagans. Summoning strength and resiliency from a hamstring injury, Hagans threw and ran circles around the FSU secondary going 27-36, en route to 306 yards passing, a career high. He would need it, Virginia amassed only 20 rushing yards, airing out to the surprise of everyone.

On Virginia's first drive of the game following a Drew Weatherford interception, UVA threw on every play. Hagans would connect with TE Jonathan Stupar in the endzone to give the Cavaliers and early 7-0 advantage. FSU bounced right back however with a long run by FSU RB Leon Washington.

After an exchange of field goals made it 10-10, Connor Hughes showed why he is one of the most important players on this team. After making his first one from 50 yards out, he connected on two more, giving the Cavaliers a 16-10 advantage late in the second quarter. A Kai Parham sack in the waning minutes gave UVA one more chance to put up some points. They did when Hagans rolled out to his right and connected with senior RB Wali Lundy for a quick scamper and a touchdown. UVA would go into the half 23-10.

Virginia received the ball first in the second and took advantage with a fourth field goal by Hughes, extending the lead to 16. Then however Florida State made their move. Successful drives were mired by costly penalties and a missed field goal, but early in the fourth quarter a short pass to Chris Davis who, with one nasty spin move, made it to the endzone. A wide open two point conversion and it was 26-18.

Virginia's offense was stuck in neutral during the fourth, just as it had the last two weeks in their losses. Hagans was sacked back and Florida State had another chance to cut into the lead. This game was different then the past two disappointments however with the resolve of the defense. Though they did bend, they did an incredible job not breaking. FSU charged down the field but were stopped before they could reach the endzone. Gary Cismesia would nail a 32 yard field goal to make it 26-21.

Virginia's next drive started out with a 7 yard run by Hagans, but on third down he threw an incompletion to Deyon Williams, only to be reprieved with a pass interference call. Virginia would take the clock down to 56 seconds before they punted it away. Florida State had no timeouts and a long way to go. On first and ten, Weatherford gave up his third interception this time to Tony Franklin. Virginia would take two knees, the goal posts and awhole lot of pent up angst last night. The victory was only the second time Virginia has beaten a top 5 school, the other time being ten years ago to this same team. Al Groh has won his biggest game, his fifth year with the team. For Hagans, Schmidt, Ferguson and all the seniors this year, this is a win that they can define their careers by.

Charlottesville and the Cavaliers have new hope, this week the Wahoos travel to Durham to take on the UNC Tar Heels, a team that has had significant problems stopping Virginia. That game is followed up by a home matchup with Temple, the Virginia Cavaliers could be 6-2 going into one of the hardest three game stretches in the country.

For now though, celebration is in order so let's party like it's 1995.


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