Virginia Tech might have saved its biggest statement of the season for in-state rival Virginia as the No. 17-ranked Hokies defeated the No. 20 Cavaliers, 26-9, in a nonconference game Friday.
Jim Druckenmiller threw two touchdown passes and completed a 72-yard pass play to set up another score as Virginia Tech of the Big East kept its bowl alliance hopes alive.
Virginia Tech (10-1) won seven in a row to finish its first 10-victory regular season, beating East Carolina, Miami, West Virginia and Virginia in succession to close the season after losing to Syracuse, 52-21, in its fourth game.
The Hokies can gain the alliance berth from the Big East if No. 23 Miami beats No. 16 Syracuse today.
Druckenmiller said, “I believe we’re a top-10 team. We just beat four top-25 teams in four weeks and I think we’ve dominated them at times.”
If Syracuse prevails, Virginia Tech would likely play No. 13 North Carolina (9-2) in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.
After the game, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer brushed aside reports that he’s on Alabama’s list as possible a replacement for Gene Stallings. “I’ve got a lot of neat things here at Virginia Tech,” he said.
For Virginia (7-4), Tiki Barber gained 162 yards in 21 carries to pass Terry Kirby of the Miami Dolphins as the school’s rushing leader. He gained 80 of those yards on the Cavaliers’ first play from scrimmage and finished with 3,389 rushing yards, 41 more than Kirby.
The Cavaliers will play in the Carquest Bowl on Dec. 27 in Miami.
Druckenmiller once again ended Virginia’s regular season on a low note. Last season, he beat them with a 32-yard scoring pass with 47 seconds left. Friday, it took him all 60 minutes to end their NCAA-record interception streak at 39 games, but not nearly that long to send Tech to victory. It was 19-0 by halftime.