The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Long Time Coming - 1995-2005

The title of this post refers both to the 26-21 UVA victory over Florida State and the time it took me to actually make this post. I apologize for not getting around to it until now.

I was at the game on Saturday of course. I was there in 1995 too when Adrian Burnim punched the ball out of Warrick Dunn's hands as his body broke the goal line...without the ball. I distinctly remember praying before that play and the silence of the crowd while the refs figured out if Dunn had scored. It was probably only a few tenths of a second before Poindexter and company were dancing around the endzone, but it seemed like an eternity. I'll never forget Tiki Barber's 311 all-purpose yards in that game including the 193 yards rushing...the 61 yard half back toss run he took down the left side line untouched.

Every year since, I've thought that maybe this would be the year, some more than others of course. Two years ago, my heart was broken when the ball was snapped over Schaub's head with about 3 minutes left ending the drive that would have tied or won the game. There have been many other heartbreaking moments, but finally a decade of anguish was assuaged by a victory that for some reason I felt coming (I was predicting victory all day at the tailgates...just a feeling in the air...beautiful blue sky).

UVA had nothing to lose after two straight close losses on the road, and they played with abandon. That "dadgum number 18" as Bobby Bowden referred to Marques Hagans was spectacular...simply the best player on the field with almost 300 yards passing by the end of the third quarter, although the Florida State defense shut down the UVA offense which got very conservative in the fourth quarter. On almost every single play, the UVA offensive line lost the battle for the line of scrimmage and Hagans was flushed out of the pocket, making throw after throw off his back foot or on a dead run. And Groh and his offensive coordinator continued to call pass plays in the first half, unlike last year in Tallahassee (I was present for that game too...only UVA fan in the entire FSU student section....in retrospect, perhaps not the best idea), where he refused to call anything but half back draw plays. Hagans was finally allowed to do what he does best, and he fought through a pulled hamstring in the second quarter to take UVA to the promised land.

It was awesome to rush the field at Scott Stadium once again...and the Corner was hopping afterwards. It was about time.

4 Comments:

Blogger Old Zach said...

Yeah it is about time, I was about to file a missing persons report on you. Funny how UVA fans consider just beating one team "the promised land." We Hokies won't be satisfied until we see that crystal football take permanent residence in the Merryman Center.

10:29 AM

 
Blogger Addison said...

Warrick Dunn was in.

11:22 AM

 
Blogger James Young said...

These kinds of rivalries are simply fun, and upsets are just great things for football.

Sadly, old H-SC suffered one this weekend, beaten by W&L for the first time in years in a brawl in Death Valley on Homecoming. It was an exciting game ... almost enough to soften the blow of the outcome for a loyal alum.

3:38 AM

 
Blogger James Young said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:38 AM

 

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