The UVA football program's more than a decade and a half of losses to Virginia Tech ended Friday afternooon at Scott Stadium.
After a hard 2-10 start in 2016, Mendenhall's teams have gone 23-15 (17-8 the last two seasons with two more games to play), and three consecutive bowl games, not to mention Virginia's first ACC Coastal Division crown. Brian Delaney kicked a go-ahead 48-yard field with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter and Virginia sealed it with a defensive score, causing fans to spill onto the field in a wild celebration.
In 2007, Virginia Tech won 33-21 in a season where both teams were nationally ranked - the No. 8 Hokies beat No. 16 Virginia.
Perkins connected with Hasise Dubois on a 67-yard pass play on the first play of Virginia's next drive, setting up a 25-yard Delaney field goal that tied the game again, at 30-30, with 7:35 to go.
It will be senior day for Virginia with all fourth- and fifth-year player introduced along with their families before the game. Keshawn King's 47-yard kickback helped set a 47-yard field goal for coach Brian Johnson of Tech's entire career.
Virginia Tech would regain possession with a chance to go in front, but the Cavaliers defense was up to the task. The Hokies' Hezekiah Grimsley recovered a fumble in the end zone to tie the game with 1:51 to play. And perhaps more notably, gives the ACC Coastal a different champion for the seventh consecutive season. Virginia would go 34 yards on the following drive to set-up the game-winning field goal.
The win gives Virginia the chance to duke it out with mighty Clemson in the ACC title game in Charlotte next weekend.
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Wahoo Nation watched with glee as they saw their head football coach prancing and dancing on the sidelines near the end of the huge UVA win.
The Tigers are the defending national champions and haven't lost a game since losing to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals two seasons ago on January 1, 2018. They last met in 2013 at Virginia in a 59-10 Clemson win. As the second-best ACC team, Virginia would nearly certainly be slotted into the Orange Bowl with Clemson seeming like a lock to make the College Football Playoff.
Al Groh coached Virginia up until 2009, followed by Mike London - who had some initial success but left the program floundering - who was replaced by Coach Bronco Mendenhall after the 2015 season.
The 'Hoos (9-3, 6-2 ACC) are now headed to their first ACC Championship Game.
Perkins arrived in January 2018 as a junior college transfer and quickly became the team's starting quarterback. He was sacked by Zane Zandler on first down, sacked by Matt Gahm on second and stripped and sacked in the end zone by Mandy Alonso on third down. Quarterback Bryce Perkins accounted for 475 of the team's 492 total yards, completing 20-of-33 passes for 311 yards with one touchdown and an interception while also rushing for 164 yards and two more touchdowns.
Friday's game won't be the first time the two squads have played with a championship game appearance at stake.