CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va, — Virginia used to love when Georgia Tech came to town.
From 1992 until 2009, the Cavaliers and Yellow Jackets had some stirring, nail-biter games at Scott Stadium, but one thing remained a constant: the home team always came out on top.
Georgia Tech ended that string with a 34-9 victory in 2009, and when the teams meet on Virginia’s field today, the 12th-ranked Yellow Jackets are favored to prevail again behind an offense that’s among the most explosive in the country, averaging 554 yards and 46.5 points.
Still, the Yellow Jackets’ production has dwindled in the past three weeks, and quarterback Tevin Washington is eager to put last week’s sloppy 21-16 win over Maryland behind him.
“It’s frustrating,” Washington said. “We got off to some fast starts early on in the year. We’ve hit kind of a stumbling block the last two games, but I think it’s just us executing.
“If we do things right, I don’t think we should have any problem.”
Washington and his offensive mates surely did that in the first three weeks, averaging 675 yards, and doing it both ways. In a 63-21 victory against Western Carolina, 365 of the 662 yards came via the passing game. In a 66-24 victory over Kansas, 604 of their 768 yards came on the ground.
One key to the production has been A-back Orwin Smith. He’s averaged 14.5 yards per carry with eight touchdowns in just 32 attempts. He also has a receiving touchdown.
He, too, thinks it’s all about execution.
“It’s getting tougher, but that’s something we expect,” he said. “As we get into conference play, the competition is going to get better and better and better each week.”
Virginia (3-2, 0-1) hopes to prove him right and erase a recent history of being manhandled by the Yellow Jackets.
Last year, Georgia Tech rushed for 477 yards in a 33-21 victory against the Cavaliers. The year before, it ran for 362 yards in ending that eight-game losing streak at Scott Stadium.