Bucky Hodges caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Michael Brewer with 1:48 left in the game, and Virginia Tech hung on for a 24-20 ACC victory over Virginia at a chilly Lane Stadium on Friday night.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 3-5) was able to rebound from last week's stunning 6-3 double overtime loss at Wake Forest to become bowl eligible, and should extend its streak of 22 straight seasons playing in a bowl game, the second longest run in the nation behind Florida State.
It was also Virginia Tech's 11th straight Commonwealth Cup victory over Virginia, and the Hokies' 15th win over the Cavaliers in the last 16 games.
Virginia (5-7, 3-5), which has already announced its intention to retain Mike London has head coach next season, finished 5-7, and still hasn't qualified for postseason play since 2011.
Zachary Swanson had caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Greyson Lambert with 2:55 left in the game to put the Cavaliers ahead 20-17.
Virginia Tech responded, with a 50-yard pass from Brewer to Hodges down to the Virginia 10. After a pass interference call gave the Hokies a first down, Brewer was able to connect with Hodges on a 9-yard crossing pattern, and he was able to reach the ball over the goal line for the score.
Virginia got the ball once more, but Dadi Nicholas sacked Lambert for a 12-yard loss, knocking Lambert out of the game. Michael Johns came off the bench to complete three passes for 63 yards to get the ball to the Tech 36.
A 41-yard scoring run by Johns with 26 seconds left was negated by a false start penalty on the Cavaliers. Corey Marshall sacked Johns for an 8-yard loss on the next play for the Hokies to put Virginia in a 3rd and 23.
Johns completed an 18-yard pass to Keeon Johnson, but Ken Ekanem and Nicholas sacked Johns on fourth down at the 44, and the Hokies ran out the clock with one play.
Virginia, which led 13-10 at the break, couldn't convert on several opportunities in Virginia Tech territory until late in the fourth period.
Virginia Tech, which led early 10-6, finally got the lead back when Brewer led a 7-play, 83-yard third quarter drive, which included passes of 11 and 7 yards to Phillips, while Sam Rogers ran five yards for a first down and caught a 16-yard pass.
That was followed by a perfect throw by Brewer to Phillips, who got behind Hoskey and dived into the end zone. That was Virginia Tech's first offensive touchdown in 117 minutes, with the last score coming in the fourth quarter of the 17-16 win at Duke three weeks ago.
Virginia had chances in the third quarter. Darius Lee recovered a fumble by Demetri Knowles on the opening kick of the half, but the Cavaliers turned the ball back over on an interception at the Tech 7 by Kysheon Jarrett. Another opportunity was dashed on a 4th and 1 at the Hokies' 16 when Kevin Parks was stopped short of the first down by Nicholas.
Virginia had another opportunity in the final quarter when Lambert connected with Darius Jennings on a catch and long run of 70 yards, but the Cavaliers were called for an ineligible receiver down field.
Virginia Tech out-gained the Cavaliers 433-314, with Brewer throwing for 235 yards and two touchdowns. J.C. Coleman ran for 118 yards, while Phillips had five receptions for 73 yards.
Lambert threw for 211 yards and a touchdown for Virginia, while Parks finished with 70 yards on the ground, with 50 of that coming in the first quarter. Canaan Severin had four receptions for 82 yards, while Taquan Mizell had four receptions for 74.
Both teams got on the board in the second quarter with the help of defense.
Beamer Ball made a rare appearance for the Hokies with 9:30 left in the second quarter when Alec Vozenilek was slow getting the punt off from the Virginia end zone and Virginia Tech's C.J. Reavis knocked the ball down with his right hand.
Hodges fell on the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Ian Frye followed with the extra point to give the Hokies a 10-3 lead.
Virginia would narrow the margin to 10-6 on a 21-yard field goal by Frye. A 56-yard pass from Greyson Lambert to Mizell gave the Cavaliers a first down at the 6, but they had to settle for three points.
Virginia would later take its first lead when Brewer was hit trying to throw a pass deep in his own territory. The ball stayed in the air long enough for David Dean to pick it off and run three yards into the end zone.
He fumbled the ball, but a review confirmed he was in for the score. Frye's extra point gave Virginia the 13-10 lead, which was the margin at the half.
Both teams traded field goals in the first quarter. Brewer and Christiansburg product Brenden Motley rotated on the Hokies' second drive of the game, leading to a 22-yard field goal by Joey Slye with 3:09 on the clock.
Virginia responded with their own three points on its next drive, set up a pass interference call and 40-yard run by Parks. Frye made a 40-yard field goal with 9 seconds left to tie the score at 3-3.
Both teams missed a field goal apiece in the opening half, with Frye missing from 46 and Slye from 51. Virginia forced a pair of turnovers, the interception by Dean and fumble recovery by Eli Harold that was forced by Max Valles. The Hokies had three turnovers in the game, while the Cavaliers had one.
Virginia Tech out-gained Virginia 190-124 in the first half, with the Hokies having 10 first downs to three for the Cavaliers, who were 0-for-8 on third down in the first 30 minutes.
Virginia Tech's Deon Newsome was ejected in the second quarter for targeting on a punt return.
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