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Big second-quarter lifts Virginia Tech past Virginia, 33-15

Hokies reclaim bragging rights after losing Commonwealth Cup last year

Virginia TechÕs Austin Cannon 52 celebrates winning the Virginia - Virginia Tech NCAA college football game in Blacksburg Va., Saturday December 12 2020. Virginia Tech won the game 33-15. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool)
Virginia TechÕs Austin Cannon 52 celebrates winning the Virginia - Virginia Tech NCAA college football game in Blacksburg Va., Saturday December 12 2020. Virginia Tech won the game 33-15. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP, Pool) (Matt Gentry)

It was a short hiatus without the Commonwealth Cup for Virginia Tech.

After getting beat by Virginia for the first time in 15 years last season in Charlottesville, the Hokies reclaimed bragging rights on Saturday, earning a 33-15 win over the Cavaliers at Lane Stadium.

Khalil Herbert rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for Virginia Tech (5-6), which outscored Virginia in the second quarter, 24-0, to take a 27-7 halftime lead.

Brennan Armstrong went 25-of-45 passing for 259 yards and two touchdown in defeat for Virginia (5-5).

The Hokies showed significant improvement on 3rd downs converting 9 of 16 and maintaining a balanced attack of rushing and passing. The defense held the Cavaliers to just 60 rushing yards and their second-fewest points this season.

The Hokies have now won 20 of the last 22 games against UVA and eleven consecutive home games against the Cavaliers dating back to the year 2000.

“Obviously I’m pleased to get the win. It speaks to a lot of the lessons we’ve talked about in terms of working hard and never giving up. So it’s a pretty cool locker room down there right now, pretty cool group of kids too,” said Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente.

“Virginia Tech played the run against us very well. Coverage variety and different looks made us more hesitant than normal and that affected our execution. Certainly a big game, lots of emotion, a unique setting and a challenging setting, and then just some variety of different looks, that are happening during the play and I think all those things compounded just to not make us as consistent,” said Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

““It hurts. We poured our hearts into this season, poured our hearts into this game and it hurts. It’s a chip on my shoulder, going into the offseason, going into this next bowl game, going into whenever we choose to play. I’m excited. Definitely use it as momentum. Definitely gonna use it with an edge. Whoever we play next, got to,” said Cavaliers linebacker Nick Jackson.

As for bowl games, Hokies head coach Justin Fuente said the team would begin addressing that on Sunday although many players expressed interest in the idea during postgame interviews.