After standing around in freezing weather Saturday waiting for
Journell hooked a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 3:38 left in the game, but he was true on a 29-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Tech to a 17-14 win. With the victory, Tech extended its winning streak to a rivalry-record nine games against U.Va., and became bowl-eligible for a 20th consecutive season.
Lining up for the final kick with 4 seconds left, Journell had to wait. London used U.Va.'s last two timeouts before Journell got his opportunity.
"It kind of took me away from the heater for a little while," Journell said of waiting through two timeouts. "My legs were freezing up again on me out there."
U.Va. (4-8 overall, 2-6
In a text to Daily Press senior columnist David Teel, London said he saved the timeouts for four specific reasons: Journell had missed his previous field goal, London wanted to make Tech (6-6, 4-4) handle the ball, he didn't want to use the timeouts and "concede" the field goal, and he didn't want Tech kicking off with the wind at its back.
London, whose team finished with 217 yards, including only 30 yards rushing, also mentioned slim prospects of scoring with no timeouts on a drive into the wind, starting at its own 25-yard line.
Tech, which had 303 yards, wasn't flawless in its clock management down the stretch either. On the two plays prior to Journell's kick, Tech snapped the ball with 15 to 18 seconds left on the play clock.
"We planned to let it run down, but I guess (quarterback) Logan (Thomas) just thought he was up at the line of scrimmage too long," Tech coach
Thomas, who completed 18 of 38 passes for 129 yards and a TD to go along with a career-high 29 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, said he wanted to be cautious on the final drive.
U.Va.'s Michael Rocco completed 14 of 29 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown. But cornerback Antone Exum got Tech in position for Journell's winning field goal by intercepting a Rocco pass and returning it 12 yards to U.Va.'s 24 with 3:21 left.
"(Intended receiver Tim Smith) tried to bulldoze me, just to try to bully me in his route," Exum said. "I just undercut him, and then the quarterback threw it right to me."
After the game, Smith complained Exum should've been penalized on the play.
"You can't get every call, but there's no doubt in my mind that was a holding call," Smith said.
U.Va. appeared to take control in the third quarter when defensive ends Eli Harold and Jake Snyder sacked Thomas on third-and-10 from Tech's 34 and forced a fumble.
Defensive tackle Brent Urban scooped up the fumble and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown, putting U.Va. up 14-7 with 10:55 left.
Tech turned the game back in its direction when it stopped holder Jacob Hodges for a 6-yard gain on a fake field goal run on fourth-and-8 from Tech's 21 with 7:41 left in the third quarter.
"Not that it was out of the range, but it was close," London said of choosing to go for a first down instead of giving Drew Jarrett a crack at a 38-yard field goal. "That particular call was based on a (defensive) look that we got. If not, then we were going to attempt to try to kick the field goal."
Tech took over and consumed 6 minutes and 16 seconds on a 15-play, 85-yard touchdown drive in which it converted two third downs, plus a fourth-and-1 on a 2-yard run by Thomas to U.Va.'s 42. Thomas finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:25 left in the third quarter to tie the game 14-14.