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Georgia Tech visits Virginia, tries to maintain momentum


In the past two weeks, Virginia and Georgia Tech have pulled off upsets of North Carolina, giving both Atlantic Coast Conference victors a needed spark.

Now it’s time for the conquerors of the Tar Heels to meet as Georgia Tech (4-4, 3-2) travels to Charlottesville to face Virginia (2-6, 1-3).

The Cavaliers were the first to upend North Carolina, toppling the then-undefeated and 10th-ranked Tar Heels 31-27 in Chapel Hill on Oct. 21.

Then last week, the Yellow Jackets rallied late to stun the then-No. 17 Tar Heels 46-42 as Haynes King threw four touchdown passes in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech also got 178 yards rushing from Dontae Smith, who helped the comeback from 11 points down in the fourth quarter with a 70-yard touchdown sprint.

King and Jamal Haynes added 90 and 80 yards, respectively, on the ground as the Yellow Jackets tallied 635 yards of total offense.

It was the second time in the month that Georgia Tech had upset a ranked foe. Tech also brought down then-No. 17 Miami, 23-20.

But the Yellow Jackets have been up and down all year, following each of their wins with a loss.

“Getting them to the point to where we’re able to play at 2 o’clock on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, where we’re able to play the same way, that’s the expectation,” Georgia Tech coach Brent Key said Tuesday.

Aside from the win over North Carolina, this has been a frustrating season for Virginia. The Cavaliers have shown improvement under second-year coach Tony Elliott but have lost four games by a combined 10 points.

One defeat came Saturday, a 29-26 overtime loss at Miami. The Cavaliers fell despite outgaining the Hurricanes 377-276, winning the turnover battle 2-1 and not committing a penalty.

“We’ve been in some games that come down to the last play, the last drive, and it’s about four or five plays. You never know when those plays are going to come,” Elliott said Tuesday. “You have to focus, play-in and play-out. It’s a mindset.”

Malik Washington, who has 12 receptions in each of the past two weeks, has been a revelation for Virginia. He is the runaway leader in the ACC in catches (68) and receiving yards (935).

– Field Level Media

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