CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The chatter about Virginia being on the rise left out an important fact in the mind of Virginia Tech's players: They were still the best in the commonwealth until proven otherwise.
The No. 6 Hokies showed they were tops Saturday night, beating the No. 24 Cavaliers 38-0. It was Virginia's first shutout loss at home in 172 games, since a 55-0 defeat to Clemson on Sept. 8, 1984.
"The guys definitely took it as a slap in the face. It's kind of been our way, the rivalry, for the past couple years and nobody was talking about us," Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas said after throwing two touchdowns and running for another. "They were all talking about Virginia and how good Virginia was going to play against us and how they were going to do."
David Wilson had two second-half touchdown runs for the Hokies, who led 14-0 at the break and drove 79 yards with the opening series of the third quarter then let their defense do the rest.
Virginia, which went in averaging better than 177 rushing yards, finished with 30 on 26 carries. They had 241 yards overall, and quarterback Michael Rocco was sacked four times and intercepted twice.
"I felt like we didn't receive any respect in our home state after all we've done, and we went out there and made a statement," defensive end James Gayle said after registering two sacks.
"We weren't getting respect, so we went out there and took it."
The Hokies earned the Coastal Division title and a rematch with No. 18 Clemson in next weekend's ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C. They lost to the Tigers 23-3 on Oct. 1 and were eager for a rematch.
"Everybody wants it," Thomas said. "We know that we didn't play our best ball that day."
They saved that for their state rivals.
NO. 13 GEORGIA 31, NO. 25 GA. TECH 17: Former Plant High standout Aaron Murray threw four touchdowns for the visiting Bulldogs, who head into the SEC championship game against LSU on a 10-game winning streak.
"This game is over with," Georgia's Branden Smith said. "I'm thinking about LSU right now. This is a good win, but we've got another mission."
Murray extended his school record for touchdown passes in a season to 32, hitting Michael Bennett and Chris Conley in the first half and Tavarres King and Aron White in the third quarter as Georgia beat the Yellow Jackets for the 10th time in 11 years.
N.C. STATE 56, MARYLAND 41: Mike Glennon threw a career-high five touchdowns, ran for another score and led the host Wolfpack's rally from 27 points down in the second half.
James Washington ran 1 yard for the go-ahead score with 7:08 left for North Carolina State, which trailed 41-14 with six minutes left in the third quarter before reeling off five straight touchdown drives during the second-biggest comeback ever in an ACC game.
VANDY 41, WAKE 7: Zac Stacy ran for 184 yards and three touchdowns, and the visiting Commodores became bowl eligible. Quarterback Jordan Rodgers, younger brother of Packers star Aaron Rodgers, had 229 total yards for Vanderbilt.
UNC 37, DUKE 21: Dwight Jones had three touchdown catches and redshirt freshman Giovani Bernard ran for a season-high 165 yards and a score to help the host Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils for the eighth straight year.