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November 30, 2013

Hokies Make It 10 Straight Over UVA

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- No matter how UVA defines its rivalry-game with Virginia Tech, it can't figure out a way to be awarded the Commonwealth Cup.

The Hokie defense limited the Cavaliers to just two field goals on Saturday afternoon to defeat UVA 16-6 for a 10th consecutive time. Trey Edmunds accumulated 119 total yards, including the game's only touchdown.

"It means a lot. They are our instate rival," head coach Frank Beamer said regarding his team's streak. "I am not sure this can be done again. We have had some great players and have always played well against Virginia. We have been fortunate, but I am not sure that it will ever happen again."

Demetri Knowles recorded his first-career 100-yard game on 4 catches, and Kendall Fuller registered his 6th interception on the season for the visitors. Edmunds, who produced arguably his best performance in maroon & orange, wasn't able to finish the game after breaking his right tibia.

"Sorry to see Trey Edmunds go down," Beamer said. "I thought he was having his best game since he came to Virginia Tech. Hopefully he'll get that thing healed up and roll again next year."

Although the Edmunds injury put a small damper on the day, the 10th straight victory over UVA fully proves a decade of dominance for the Hokies.

"It's huge. It's a rivalry that you have to play every single year, and to win 10 in a row there's really no better feeling," quarterback Logan Thomas, who threw for 229 yards, said. "Especially for me, I've been 5-0 against them, and that's something special. Not a lot of people can say that."

Things were interesting for awhile, as the two teams traded field goals until lightning struck before halftime. The Hokies were able to deflate the home crowd with a 26-yard catch and run for Edmunds with just 21 seconds left, who broke a tackle on the play and outran the rest.

That would be enough of a lead as the Cavs were only able to register 92 total yards in the second half on 35 plays. (2.6 yards per play)

"Anytime you keep them from scoring a touchdown, there's not much more else we could do," defensive end James Gayle said. "They have dynamic players and made plays, just not enough to win the game."

The Hokies opened the contest on an impressive 78-yard drive, but it stalled when they couldn't reach the end zone in six goal-to-go tries (pass interference on 3rd down) and were forced to kick a 22-yard field goal. UVA kicker Alec Vozenilek answered with a 36-yard field goal of his own, but freshman kicker Eric Kristensen regained the three-point lead with a 30-yard boot.

Vozenilek tied it up once again early in the second from 29 yards out, but the battle of field goals continued as Kristensen hit a 38-yarder with 2:32 remaining in the half to give VT another small lead.

"The first field goal I was pretty nervous for, but once it went through I got totally confident and felt comfortable and ready for the next one," the relief kicker of 2013 explained.

Virginia Tech finishes 8-4 in the regular season, and will await its bowl selection as Duke defeated UNC to advance to the ACC Championship. Many of the players admitted Duke deserves to be in the championship game, and put the blame of a late-season skid squarely on their shoulders.

However, it still makes everyone feel a little better whenever the Hokies are able to assert their Virginia dominance.

"Losing to UVA was out of the question," Gayle added. "The guys knew that we had to play hard, and if it led to a scuffle that's just what would have to happen."

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