This year, The Cavalier Daily turns 125 years old. To mark the occasion, and in recognition of the many alumni coming back to Grounds for Homecomings this weekend, we’ve compiled a selection of articles from The Cavalier Daily archives. The articles are presented as they were originally written, with the author, headline and accompanying photo presented when available.
Mar. 29, 1935: “Brave New Virginian Boasts Sex Appeal and Canned Beer”
By Cavalier Daily Staff
The king is dead; long live the king.
The Virginian died a sexless death; long live the New Virginian! Even a chocolate shake with a gratis flip of ice cream could not plead against those animal instincts of homo sapiens which were so completely enthralled by Whiz-banging, carisnighting magazines; and so the guzzling public withdrew from the late Virginian to elsewhither, and the constable had a sale. The present regime at the Virginian is staging a new deal. The greatest display of up-to-date, eye-opening “literature” ever assembled in the temperate zone now beckons to innocent bystanders at the New Virginian.
Thus the redecorated and relighted New Virginian opened last week advertising the best chocolate shake in town and urging the magazine reading students to try their tasty sandwiches and crisp delicious salads. In addition to serving Hershey’s ice cream they are including either whipped cream or ice cream with their famous shakes. The new management has applied for a license from the A.B.C. to serve beer, and permission is expected by Saturday, March 30. They are now serving beer in cans.
The motto of the New Virginian is “Never out of stamps,” while the new password is “Call 863 for quick and efficient service.” And last but not least—new records!
Sept. 30, 1943: Five Million Dollars Requested By Officials To Democratize University
By Cavalier Daily Staff
To make the University “what Jefferson intended it to be” and democratize the institution by requiring all first and second-year students to reside together on the Grounds a request of $3,000,000 was made to Governor Darden last week to provide adequate lodging, dining, and social quarters for the post-war University.
The money would be used to finance the construction of a group of buildings to provide living and eating facilities for 1,000 students. Under this setup, all first and second year college students would be required to live on the Grounds in compliance with a University rule. With present living space of only 500 rooms and eating arrangements for only 300, it has been impossible to enforce this ruling.
Dr. Newcomb’s request for additional living quarters is in accord with the policy proclaimed by Governor Darden last year that fraternity houses be banned as dwelling places for students of State institutions.
This request was part of a $5,584,000 that was submitted by University officials. Governor Darden, who long has been working on plans to democratize the University in keeping with the aims of its founder remarked that he believed this capital outlay is imperative if the University of Virginia is to be what Jefferson intended it to be.
Med School Additions
Aside from the $3,000,000 student housing proposal, which would care for 1000 students, President Newcomb emphasized the need for a $250,000 building for the University Hospital’s ward for Negro patients, a $924,000 laboratory, $670,000 for two new wings to the hospital, a $250,000 nurse’s home and a $636,000 for additions to the medical school.
As Dr. Newcomb went through his budget plans, Governor Darden brought up the question of consolidating the University’s engineering school with that of VPI at the latter institution. Dr. Newcomb said he thought there was a need for a small engineering school like the University’s in addition to the more technical and expansive one at VPI.
Faculty Salary Increases
Dr. Newcomb also sought an additional $44,700 yearly to provide for resumption of the schedule for faculty salary increases and said that additional faculty members were needed particularly in the medical school which has the smallest teaching staff in proportion to student body of any first class medical school in the country. Both Dr. Newcomb and President Burruss of VPI stressed the view that salary increases were important to maintain morale and efficiency and to hold good faculty members.
Student opinion at the University tied up the $3,000,000 request for housing and social facilities as the answer to Governor Darden’s attack on University fraternities.
A $3,000,000 Compromise
Several students expressed the opinion that they thought the fraternity feud between Darden and the University had at last been settled by “the $3,000,000 compromise.” One student remarked that, “University fraternities and landladies have been sold down the river for $3,000,000.”
The Richmond papers also interpreted the huge outlay of funds as a solution to the Governor’s fraternity policy, Said the Times-Dispatch “...It is fortunate that this excellent solution was found for the dilemma which confronted the chief executive and the University authorities. It is not a complete and all-inclusive solution, but it will be a major step forward, and it will help markedly to make the University, in Mr. Darden’s words, ‘what Jefferson intended it to be’.”
Governor Is Happy
The Richmond paper continues…“we have here what would seem to be a happy compromise between the Governor’s original desire to prevent the fraternity men from living in their own houses at all, and the stand-pat attitude on the part of some officials and students at the University, who took the view that the Governor was interfering unwarrantably in its affairs, and that no changes whatever should be made there.”
“Under the new dispensation, a highly desirable democratization of the student body will be brought about.”
The News-Leader described Governor Darden “as happy over the compromise effected between him and the University of Virginia in his effort to democratize the University by limiting the influence of fraternities on students.”
Jan. 7, 1955: Louis Armstrong To Play For Midwinters
By Fred Quayle
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and his All Stars will be the featured band at Midwinters this year, the PK-German Dance Societies announced yesterday. The dances will be held February 11-12.
The formal dance will take place Friday night from 10-12. The hour and a half concert, consisting mainly of Dixieland music, will be held Saturday afternoon followed by a varsity boxing match between The University and West Point teams at 7 o’clock and the informal dance from 9-12.
Besides the regular concert Saturday afternoon, a concert lasting about 45 minutes will be offered during each of the two dances. Both dances and the concert will be held in Memorial Gymnasium.
Block tickets for Midwinters have been reduced and may be purchased for $9.00. They will go on sale the latter part of next week. Single tickets for the dances will cost $4.40 for per couple for the formal dance and $3.30 for the informal one.
Apr. 22, 1975: ‘The Best Party In The Country’
By Danny Barkin
Q. What is the most frequently asked question during Easters Weekend at the University of Virginia?
A. Hey, Hey baby, I wanna know-ow-ow, if you’ll be my girl?
If a band of Visigoths fresh from sacking and looting had descended upon Rugby Rd. last weekend, they would have gone virtually unnoticed. Put some “Easters–the best party in the Country” t-shirts on them, and they could have done their worst with nary a sideways glance.
It was that kind of weekend.
It began, as most Easters Weekends begin, on a traditional note, with the car-burning in Mad Bowl. As far as car-burnings go, this one was fair, but by no means as sensational as the blaze in 1971, which saw a filled gas-tank explode and fisticuffs erupt. But it was fair.
Friday the roads leading into Charlottesville were choked with carloads of women travelling from such exotic places as Fredericksburg, Staunton, Farmville, Lynchburg, and Harrisonburg, dutifully answering the beckon call of hundreds of University men. Some of the girls coming down the road even knew their Easter dates.
“You can tell who the road chicks are,” she said as we made our way up Rugby Rd.
“Simple. the’re the ones with the blue jean skirts and the knee socks.”
Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat kicked off the entertainment Friday night a they entertained the troops at University Hall. It wasn’t an Easters concert. Alice Cooper in 1972 was an Easters concert, good and rowdy. It’s hard to imagine Bonnie Raitt hanging herself onstage, though.
Friday night on Rugby Rd. was, well, a little unusual. For one thing, it was wall-to-wall people, a phenomenon usually linked with Saturday, but more than that, it was fairly calm.
There were no streakers (save a few flashers), very few fights, no fires to speak of, except for a cellar blaze at a private home next to ATO, and very few casualties.
But there was glass. Hundreds solved the problem of where to deposit empty bottles by simply tossing them on the pavement.
And there were cars. Cars trying to ford the crowds, fools driving where wisemen fear to tread. There seemed to be no rational explanation why someone would drive up Rugby Rd. on Easters Weekend. Motorists found themselves on the hood, the truck, and yes, on the roof, as liquor-razed minions of the night played Ben-Hur on landau roofs.
“I’m not drunk. I’m not drunk. I’m not drunk.”
Saturday began at Scott Stadium.
The largest crowd in recent memory for a Lacrosse game braved an intermittent drizzle to cheer on the Cavaliers to a 14-13 cliffhanger over Maryland. It was unclear though, whether the boisterous wahoo laxmen were ebullient over their newly-acquired ACC title, or whether they were celebrating the end of their pre-game spartan abstinence.
At any rate, the players on the field were undoubtedly the only two-legged creatures in the stadium with the clear-eyed countenances unfettered with massive hangovers.
The bacchanalia began anew, stretching from fledgling parties in the dormitories for the benefit of intoxicated first-year students to the hard-core imbibing along Rugby Rd. and Madison Lane.
The Lawn saw sedate, post-game soirees unblemished by rowdiness, as befitting the locale.
And then the lines began forming in the Barracks Rd. Shopping Center ABC Store, the Lucky-Seven Corner Store, in fact, each and every outlet of alcoholic goods in the city and county. Friday had just been a dry run. The troops were girding up for a Saturday night.
“Did he card you?”
Once again the police barricades went up, keeping the parallel corridors of Madison Lane and Rugby Rd. free of automotive flotsam and jetsam. Crowds of fifty at a time crossed University Ave., fraternity-bound, as traffic along the avenue backed up east as far as Jefferson Park Avenue and to the west as far as Rt. 29 Noth.
The only vehicles able to squirm through the barricades were the gypsy vans of bedraggled musicians with their gear in tow. For them, Easters was just another gig, paying better than most, but just another gig.
Down at the University Hospital, the emergency staff was treating the second-day victims of one too many mudslides, one too many drinks.
“Lemme see. Out of 22 people here this weekend in the E.R., 18 have been students. We usually have to give them a thorough examination. They can’t talk too well when we get ‘em.”
Night descended, providing a mask of darkness for the revelers. The bands began to tune their instruments, and by 9:30, rival groups boomed out their amplified tunes as they competed with each other for the ears of drunken strollers.
You could forget about moving quickly on Madison Lane by 10 p.m. the fraternity houses spewed a wave of partygoers colliding with emigres from Rugby Rd. Cars strewn haphazardly on both roads made for a meter maid’s dream, but the police discreetly kept their distance. Smart move.
Saturday night was hard on the feet, if only because it was nigh-impossible to set your dogs down on the pavement of glass, flattened beer cans, and humans littered ubiquitously.
It looked like the evacuation of Da Nang, needing only the pock-pock-pock of mortar fire. Bottle rocks provided that added touch, completing the scene.
Then there was quiet. The troops rested once more.
Sunday. Sunday nearly defies description or explanation. One is only left with the impressing of hordes upon hordes of people in Mad Bowl enraptured by the overwhelming presence., bobbing up and down to the Atlanta Tams and Junior Walker and the All-Stars.
“Say the first word that comes to your mind.”
The inevitable mud. It was mostly found in the high ground, in the quadrangle of Fraternity houses across the street from Mad Bowl on Rugby Rd. Students wallowed in it, threw it at each other, and sometimes, ate it.
By late afternoon from the police observation post on the second floor of Madison Hall, it looked like some artistic soul had taken a brown paint brush and cut a swath through the crowd in the Bowl.
And then it was over. Just like that, it ended as all good parties must. Even the best party in the country.
Apr. 6, 1979: Stalemate ends; CD seeks autonomy
By Gary Parker
The Cavalier Daily Staff returned to its offices yesterday after its Managing Board reached an agreement with University Legal Advisor George G. Grattan IV concerning the Media Board dispute.
The Managing Board said it would recognize the Media Board’s existence but not its authority to control the newspaper’s content.
In a letter to University President Frank L. Hereford Jr., the newspaper acknowledged that the Board of Visitors has “certain oversight responsibilities respecting University publications.”
It stated, however that it would agree to abide by the BOV’s Media Board resolutions “only to the extent that this authority does not infringe” on constitutional rights regarding newspaper content.
The paper will not waive its rights to challenge any action the Media Board may undertake which the paper believes violates First Amendment rights, the letter said.
Editor-in-Chief Richard Neel said Grattan assured him that a new interpretation of the Media Board constitution does not require letters of censure to be published.
Managing editor Mark Hufford said yesterday he felt “we have won a great victory in standing up to the administration, in maintaining absolute control over the content of the paper and in protecting our First Amendment rights.”
He said University counsel “essentially has reversed its interpretation of the Media Board’s constitution to say that it has absolutely no power to force us to print letters of censure.”
Neel said yesterday Grattan had assured the Managing Board that “the University is willing to enter into good faith negotiations for the ultimate independence of the Cavalier Daily from the University” as well as for the lease of present office space to the paper.
The Managing Board hopes to achieve independent status by Aug. 30 1979, according to Neel.
“A paramount goal of previous Managing Boards has been making the paper independent,” said Business Manager James Fox yesterday.
Hereford said yesterday, “I am very pleased that the issue has been settled. I have also thought that an independent newspaper had merits.” While recognizing the factual establishment of the Media Board, the Managing Board “still has significant problems with the board’s present constitution,” according to Hufford.
Fox said regardless of the extent of the Media Board’s powers in the future, “the board is a concept we would not be able to live with indefinitely.”
The Media Board’s constitution currently gives it the power to remove members of a media group’s managing board.
Executive Vice President Avery Catlin, in a return letter to the Cavalier Daily said, “I am delighted that the Managing Board of the Cavalier Daily recognizes the authority of the board of Visitors and the authority delegated by it to the Media Board.”
Fox added that he was “proud that the staff has been able to put out a paper every day this week during a time when our future was undoubtedly in question.”
“A prime concern of the Managing Board during this conflict has been the absolute necessity of continuing publication for as long as was feasibly possible,” he said.
Apr. 6, 1979: Students rally, protest Board
By Michael Graham
University President Frank L. Hereford yesterday was hung in effigy while later in the day approximately 1,500 students rallied on the Lawn to protest the University Board of Visitors’ recent actions.
Speakers at the rally near Hereford’s office demanded the reinstatement of Cavalier Daily to its offices, the repeal of a $20 comprehensive fee increase for athletics and the institution of a $5 fee increase for weekend bus service.
Hereford, however, was in Atlanta and is not expected to return to the University until Sunday.
Students gathered to protest Board actions and students being “led like lambs to the slaughter” by an unresponsive Board, according to First-Year Council (FYC) representative Mark Leimkuhler.
Both faculty and students spoke at the rally, which was sponsored by the FYC. The event began at noon near Hereford’s Pavilion VIII office and later moved to his Carr’s Hill home.
The crowd traveled to the Rotunda before returning to the Lawn around 2:30 p.m. when Acting President Avery Catlin spoke to the crowd.
“I fully understand you have concerns,” he said, “but I do not have any answers now.”
Catlin said he would inform Hereford of the students’ concerns when he returns Sunday.
First-year College student Ridge Goldsborough said Catlin promised in a meeting with five of the protestors to contact Hereford and the Board of Visitors “as soon as possible.”
Catlin would not say when that would be.
Students at the rally carried signs with messages such as “Support the First Amendment” “Free the Press” “Hereford got off your Angus” and “What Would Mr. Jefferson say?”
Cries of “Free the Press!” and “No more s--t!” echoed across the Lawn while a pavilion balcony banner proclaimed “Behold the Fallacy of Student Self-Government.”
First-year Judicial Representative Josephine Nelson, who called the rally to order, said “we’re tired of it (the Board of Visitor’s actions) and that’s why we’re here.”
History Prof. Woodford D. McClellan said at the rally that “there are some things I would not do for a paycheck. I want to commend you for what you are doing here today.”
John Gilmore, chairman of Students for a More Responsive Board of Visitors, called the Board’s refusal to carry out student opinion “a slap in the face.”
He said the ultimatum Hereford gave the Cavalier Daily Monday was “cowardly.”
Student Council President-elect John Serpe noted that the Board did not order Herford to withdraw University support from the paper so quickly. “That was Hereford’s idea,” he said.
Later, the demonstrators went to Carr’s Hill, and gathered there for about 20 minutes.
The crowd began chanting “We want tea!” when they were told Mrs. Hereford was inside the house making tea.
Before returning the the Lawn, the group blocked traffic on University Avenue for several minutes. Charlottesville police opened traffic lanes again.
The crowd then moved to Pavilion VII and waited for Catlin to come out and speak.
After Catlin spoke and the crowd dispersed and several students agreed to form a coalition of student groups which will promote student interests in Board of Visitors matters.
Another rally is planned to take place at Carr’s Hill 6 p.m. Sunday to protest decisions made by the Board of Visitors.
Mar. 30 1981: Blue jeans to show support for gay rights
By Sandra Hathaway
Students wearing blue jeans tomorrow will not only be dressed informally, they may be making a statement.
Tomorrow will be Blue Jeans day, when the Gay Student Union asks gays and gay sympathizers to wear denims tomorrow to show support for gay rights. Blue Jeans Day kicks off Gay Acceptance Week, a week of programs and events sponsored by the GSU. Gay Acceptance Week, an annual event, is designed to “heighten the Charlottesville and University community’s awareness of the productive and rewarding aspects of gay life,” according to a GSU press release.
“If we can touch people intellectually, get beyond emotional reactions, we can change some opinions,” GSU chairman Brian Lee Johnson said yesterday. Johnson cited name-calling and expulsion from fraternities as among the problems faced by gays at the University. Last year, opposition to a GSU paint job on Beta Bridge led some Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers to allegedly yell insults and throw firecrackers at GSU members as they painted.
In 1977, GSU member Bob Elkins was almost fired from his resident staff post after his homosexuality was made known.
“At any university, particularly at the University of Virginia, there are more misconceptions than understanding. Acceptance Week is just a vehicle to expose people with misconceptions to a little broader understanding,” Johnson said.
But, he added, “the really difficult discrimination to deal with is the subtle one. It’s harder to say bad things about gay people if you’ve actually met a few.” Fred Richter of Georgia Southern College will lecture on “Homosexuality: A Christian Perspective” at 7:30 Thursday night in Minor Hall. Richter will be interpreting biblical passages from a gay viewpoint, according to Johnson.
Friday night at 7, there will be a potluck dinner at the Wesley Foundation. Following the dinner, speakers from the Washington chapter of Parents of Gays will discuss the problems homosexuals have in telling their parents about their homosexuality. The week will conclude with a dance in the Newcomb Hall Informal Lounge on Saturday night, from 9 to 1.
Throughout the week, GSU members will man an informational phone line for open and confidential discussions of sexual orientation. Anyone who has questions or problems may call 977-6500 between 9:30 and 11 p.m.
Sept. 9, 1985: Hypnotic
By Cavalier Daily Staff
Hypnotist Tom Deluca returned to the University last Friday to entertain an overflowing crowd of students in the amphitheater. Deluca amazed the audience by hypnotizing a group of student volunteers, causing them to forget their names, to return to the age of five, and in the case of one girl, to believe that she was an alien from another planet unable to speak English.
Sept. 17, 2007: First steps taken to build JPA overpass
By Alex Foreman
Charlottesville City Council recently approved the University’s plan to construct a pedestrian overpass across Jefferson Park Avenue. According to University Landscape Architect Mary Hughes, City Council granted air rights, which take into consideration factors like the height of the overpass. “We bring issues to the floor that we want [the University] to consider,” Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kendra Hamilton said. “In this case we’d given them feedback about height and other things.”
She added that many members of the community have expressed a desire for a streetcar, so Council wanted a height that could accommodate such plans. According to Hughes, the overpass, or “terrace,” will connect with New Cabell Hall and will be about 18 feet above the ground.
The terrace is part of the South Lawn Project and is estimated to cost nine million dollars, Hughes said.
“Construction will begin on it probably late fall or early into the year of 2009,” said supervisory project manager James Kelley. “It will take six to nine months to construct. It will be completed along with the rest of the project late in the year 2010.” The overpass is meant to act as an extension of the Lawn, Hughes said, adding that there will be tall Evergreen hedges and a panel of lawn in the middle of the crossing.
“You’ll feel that you’re crossing a piece of University landscape,” she said. Kelley added that the 95-foot-wide bridge will have a “structural steel frame with sidewalls and lights.”
Digging for utilities on JPA is the cause of current traffic congestion in the area. In the general planning for construction, crews must take into account the fact that JPA is part of the emergency route to the hospital, she noted.
Additionally, the timing of construction work will accommodate potential traffic issues.
“Most of the heavy construction over the road they will do at night and they will have flag men,” she said.
Once the overpass is built, she added, the area will be safer for pedestrians.
“We recognize that it’s a difficult street to cross,” she said, adding that she hopes the terrace will become “the preferred means of crossing JPA.”
Mar. 31, 2009: Virginia hires Bennett as new coach of men's basketball team
By Paul Montana
Virginia’s search for a men’s basketball coach is finished.
A source close to the team confirmed yesterday multiple reports that Tony Bennett, the men’s basketball coach at Washington State last year, will coach the Cavaliers next season.
According to the reports, Bennett turned down offers from Marquette, Indiana and LSU before accepting the post in Charlottesville.
The 38-year-old Bennett served as the head coach for three seasons at Washington State, compiling a 69-33 record. Bennett guided the Cougars to 26 wins in each of his first two seasons as well as consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, making a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2008 before being bounced by top-seed North Carolina. The Cougars faltered this past season, going 17-16 and losing to St. Mary’s in the NIT.
Bennett took command of Washington State after serving as an assistant and associate coach for his father, former coach Dick Bennett. Tony Bennett immediately exceeded expectations; in his first season in 2006-07, the Cougars were picked to finish last in the Pac-10 before winning a program-best 26 games and finishing second in the conference at 13-5, as Bennett was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year.
Prior to coaching Washington State, Bennett served as an assistant at Wisconsin, also for his father; the Badgers retained Tony Bennett after his father retired. Tony Bennett then joined Washington State’s staff in 2003 when his father came out of retirement to take the head coaching job with the Cougars.
As a player, Bennett played for his father at Wisconsin-Green Bay before three years as a guard with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Bennett replaces former Virginia coach Dave Leitao, who resigned March 16.
Sept. 1, 2011: Rotunda sign goes missing
By Caroline Houck
The University reported yesterday that a sign at the Rotunda's entrance displaying its hours of operation went missing last Thursday night from the walkway underneath the historic building's Lawn-facing stairway.
Acknowledging the sign was most likely taken as a result of a youthful antic or a mischievous dare gone bad, Rotunda administrator Leslie Comstock-Tirrell said the most important thing is the sign is returned to its proper home.
"Somebody out there knows where the sign is," Comstock-Tirrell said. "If it were to magically appear at the door of the Rotunda one night, that would be ideal."
Comstock-Tirrell said the sign stands about 5 and 1/2 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds.
"It's a black, two-sided sign with the word 'Rotunda' and our hours of operation," Comstock-Tirrell said. "It has a large, flat round base, and a rectangular sign on top. It's a very nice sign ... and was very expensive."
Comstock-Tirrell said she hopes the long history of goodwill shown by the University community will help encourage individuals to return the sign to its proper location in the walkway.
"We get so many phones and laptops and wallets turned in here, and we're always so proactive at working to get them back to their owners," Comstock-Tirrell said. "We're hoping someone will just return the favor."
October 17, 2011: Virginia stuns Georgia Tech, wins 24-21
By Matt Welsh
The Virginia football team had given fans glimmers of early explosive offense, sustained suffocating defense and outstanding team preparation several times this season - but never all at once. Energized from their bye week and the prospect of a huge homecoming statement, the Cavaliers delivered a complete performance against No. 12 Georgia Tech, a 24-21 upset victory that sent shockwaves across the ACC and compelled the orange-and-blue-clad hordes on Scott Stadium's hill to swarm the field in ecstasy.
"This was such a tremendous victory to be a part of," coach Mike London said. "To play a game like this, everything just kind of comes together."
Georgia Tech (6-1, 3-1 ACC) entered the contest with the second-best totals for rushing and total offense in the country and eager to improve on its best start in nearly half a century.
Virginia (4-2, 1-1 ACC) countered with a bye week's worth of preparation for Georgia Tech's vaunted triple option offense and its deadly dual-threat quarterback, junior Tevin Washington. The bye week strategies worked to perfection as the Cavaliers constantly hurried Washington - who completed just two of eight passes for 24 yards with two interceptions - and held the Yellow Jackets to just 296 total yards - nearly 250 below their season average.
"[The bye week] did tremendous things for our defense," sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco said. "They got to work on the cut blocks, the misdirection and the offense for two weeks straight."
Virginia not only tripped up Georgia Tech's triple option but also handed the Yellow Jackets a heavy dose of their own medicine on offense. The Cavalier backfield trio of junior Perry Jones, redshirt freshman Kevin Parks and freshman Clifton Richardson gouged Al Groh's 3-4 defense for 272 yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries. Jones led all rushers with 152 yards, Parks and Richardson found the end zone during the first and second quarter, respectively, and all three averaged better than 5 yards per carry.
"We have some great running backs and I give credit to all of them tonight," Rocco said. "They can run the ball great and all are great pass catchers. Perry, Kevin and Clifton did a great job for us tonight."
For the third consecutive game, the Virginia offense gave the Cavaliers an early advantage with two first-quarter touchdowns. Rocco successfully mixed Jones' and Parks' runs with short passes before Parks plunged into the end zone from 6 yards out. The defense did its part to force a subsequent three-and-out and give Rocco great field position at the Georgia Tech 45-yard line. After an 8-yard Jones rush softened up the Yellow Jacket secondary, Rocco unleashed a 37-yard touchdown strike to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Tim Smith.
"They couldn't have scripted a better start," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "[They] take the ball, run time off the clock. Then we get the ball and get two penalties in the first four plays. We made some bonehead plays."
Rocco continued to move the offense early as his picturesque 30-yard pass to senior wide receiver Kris Burd set up a field goal try by senior Robert Randolph, but the usually reliable kicker sent his tipped 32-yard effort wide left. Georgia Tech almost instantly erased what should have been a three-score lead as it scored twice in two minutes to tie the game at 14-14 during the second quarter. Washington took the last of Georgia Tech's 11 consecutive rushes 7 yards to paydirt. Three plays later, the Yellow Jackets were back celebrating in the end zone before a stunned student section after Rocco's wobbly pass attempt to a triple-covered Burd was picked off by junior cornerback Rod Sweeting, who returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback David Watford entered the game on the next possession. Watford's performance wasn't pretty, but directed Virginia's third touchdown drive of the half behind the Cavaliers' three-headed rushing monster. Richardson capped the drive when he barreled over multiple defenders for a 22-yard score.
Randolph's 36-yard field goal on the following drive gave Virginia a 24-14 halftime lead, but it hardly seemed enough after Washington brought Georgia Tech to within 24-21 on a 1-yard touchdown dive during the opening series of the second half. The teams traded punts the rest of the way as the gritty ground games of both teams kept the clock rolling and left the almost 50,000 attendees in a constant state of nail-biting suspense. On third-and-6 with less than five minutes remaining, Rocco completed a crucial swing pass to Jones for 18 yards. Two first downs - one each by Jones and Parks - and two final Rocco kneeldowns later, the Cavaliers had iced the game and kick-started the celebratory Scott Stadium stampede.
"We just need to keep remembering how it feels to win against a top-25 team and our fans rushing the field," junior offensive tackle Oday Aboushi said. "You just have to keep it in your memory and work hard."
In one sense, a storm-the-field victory was a familiar feeling for Virginia. Last year, the Cavaliers enjoyed a 24-19 upset win Oct. 30 against No. 22 Miami as throngs of frenzied fans flooded the field. The biggest win of London's inaugural season evened the squad's record at 4-4 and indicated the program was headed in the right direction; the team's winless record during its final four games of 2010, however, suggested otherwise.
Two thrilling wins against lightly-regarded Indiana and Idaho elicited as much trepidation as excitement about the prospects for London's second season, but now the Virginia coach has the ultimate validation for his squad's sky-high potential. It's only one game - and half a season still remains - but in a mere two weeks, London's 2011 team seemingly underwent a total transformation from underwhelming ACC also-ran to bona fide bowl contender.
"You win a game like this against a very good team, a nationally ranked team ... it's contagious," London said. "We hope it gets contagious enough where these guys start craving to win like some of these programs around the country"