Virginia Commonwealth Cup Experience

For the first time in 15 years, the Virginia Cavaliers have beaten the Virginia Tech Hokies, and I was there to witness it.


Joey Sims

Virginia fans rush the Scott Stadium field after a 15 year drought against Virginia Tech.

On November 29th, 2019, the Virginia Cavaliers won the ACC Coastal and ended their 15 game losing streak to in-state rival Virginia Tech by a score of 39-30.  The last time the Hoos beat the Hokies, I was only 3 months old.  I was lucky enough to be in attendance for this rivalry game.

The student section was getting loud for the second half kickoff.

I woke up at 6:45, got dressed for the cold, ate breakfast and got in the car.  After the long car ride to Charlottesville, we walked to the UVA bookstore to find some gloves for the game.  We got some horrible coffee from the Einstein Bros in the bookstore and then walked over to Scott Stadium.  My brother Josh and I decided to walk around the stadium a few times before the gates opened at 10:30.  We saw fans of both teams tailgating.  It was the calm before the storm.

The gates opened up, they handed out orange towels that said “The 4th Side,” which is a term for UVA fans, and I met up with some friends.  We sat on the hill and watched warm ups.  Some Tech players and the student section started yelling at each other, and that’s when I knew this game was going to be different from other UVA games I  had been to.

With half an hour left before the noon kickoff, I went to my seats in the upper deck.  Unfortunately for my family and the other Hoos fans near us, we happened to be right in front of the visitor section.  We listened to Tech fans proclaim themselves “the loudest and smartest fans in college football.”


Nick Grant had a big game against Tech, breaking up several passes.

It was Senior Day for the Virginia players, they wore lei necklaces because of Robert Anae, the offensive coordinator, who is from Hawai’i.  The seniors received loud ovations from The 4th Side and I realized that most of our starters would be graduating this year.  I began to hope that this class would be the class to finally beat Tech and win the Coastal.

It was almost game time, the Cavalier Marching Band did their pregame performance and lined up.  AC-DC’s “Thunderstruck” began blaring from the speakers as CavMan galloped on the field with his Horse Sabre and the team followed him.  The stadium erupted into cheers, followed by boos as the Hokies ran out.  The teams did the coin toss, Tech won and differed and it was time.

The first possession for the Cavaliers resulted in a 39 yard touchdown run by star QB Bryce Perkins.  Kicker Brian Delaney missed the extra point, giving Virginia the 6-0 lead.  Tech’s first possession resulted in a 21 yard field goal by Brian Johnson, as Tech now trailed 6-3.

The Hoos responded with another Bryce Perkins run, a 67 yard rushing touchdown.  This time, Delaney made the PAT.

The Tech fans behind me were extremely quiet, so I took the opportunity to annoy them.  I held up two fingers representing 2 Perkins touchdowns.

They help up some different fingers.

The first quarter ended with a 13-3 UVA lead.  The second quarter was very uneventful, with the only points scored on a 26 yard VT field goal by Johnson.  However the play before, Virginia Free Safety Joey Blount appeared to intercept a pass from Hokies QB Hendon Hooker, but it was called back as the refs said he was out of bounds, letting Tech kick a field goal.  Camiel Sims, my mother and a Virginia graduate class of 1998, said, “The refs are going to do anything in their power to let Tech play Clemson, it would be better for the conference.”  Despite the refs’ best efforts, UVA lead 13-6 at halftime.

My brother, me and my friend on the field after the big win.

My brother and I met up with our friends again and we walked down to the student section as the second half began.  Tech scored on their first drive on a 34 yard run for Hooker, tying the game at 13.  Tech scored again goal-line run and now had a 20-13 lead.  The student section began to lose it’s hype, while the Tech fans came back to life.  The Hoos responded on a 25 yard Perkins pass to Bill Kemp IV and the game was tied at 20.

The energy was back in the student section, but Tech scored on their next drive with a 61 yard pass from Hooker to Tre Turner.  Tech had a 27-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The ABC cameras caught me on my friend’s shoulders I was on TV for about 2 seconds.

UVA tied it up after a 2 yard run by Wayne Taulapapa.  Hoos fans began to “Rock Scott,” but Tech scored on a 47 yard Johnson field goal, taking a 30-27 lead.  Brian Delaney had his chance for redemption on the next drive, kicking a 25 yard field goal to tie it at 30.

This whole time, I’m freaking out on every play and every kick.  My friends at home were blowing up my phone on every play, not realizing that I wasn’t checking it.

Then the Hokies began their march down field, and a miracle happened.

Hooker threw a interception to UVA Linebacker Noah Taylor.  Scott Stadium screamed and now the Hoos got the ball with the clock ticking down.  As the offense walked out onto the field, F.Y.L’s song “Swag Surfin'” began playing as Virginia’s bench swayed back and fourth.  The student section was doing the same and Perkins began dancing midfield.

The second I saw that, I knew we were going to win.

Delaney kicked a 48 yard field goal to give UVA a 33-30 lead with 1:23 left.  Tech had possession, but three sacks and a fumble recovered in the end zone by Virginia sealed the game, the Hoos had a 39-30 lead.  Fans began to line up to run onto the field. Tech’s last drive ended with an over throw in the end zone.

The party was on as students and fans rushed down from the hill and the stands partying in midfield.  I got onto my friend’s back and the ABC cameras focused on me for 2 seconds.  I high-fived players and fans.  My friends dad ran down and started jumping up and down with us, which was hilarious.  Fans took anything they could find from the sidelines. Senior and Tech hopeful Chris Konstantinou said, “There were some plays we could’ve done better, our main problem was with our defense as every time we would throw a beautiful pass down the field or run it straight through, the defense couldn’t keep UVA from doing the same.”

The car ride back was fun, then we realized we got to be the annual sacrifice to Clemson in the CAA Championship.  Clemson won in a 62-17 massacre.  The Hoos will play in the Orange Bowl against Florida on December 30th.