Virginia running back Perris Jones was released from a Louisville, Ky., medical facility on Tuesday, nearly three weeks after suffering an injury that required spinal surgery.
Before leaving the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, where he had been since being transferred from the University of Louisville Hospital, a beaming Jones walked to the podium and thanked the staff for the care he received for what was termed a traumatic injury.
“You guys (U of L Health) have made my family feel like family,” he said. “I don’t consider you all to just be doctors. You’re like my aunts and uncles, whether you like it or not. You all are part of my family and I truly mean that.”
Jones was injured as he was tackled in the third quarter of Virginia’s 31-24 defeat at Louisville on Nov. 9. He underwent spinal surgery the next day before being transferred to Frazier for rehabilitation.
Now that he is stable and healthy enough to travel, Jones is expected to continue his rehab closer to his home in Alexandria, Va.
Jones, a sixth-year senior, rushed for a career-high 393 yards with two touchdowns on 76 carries in 10 games this season. He caught six passes for 107 yards.
–Field Level Media
Virginia Tech overwhelmed Virginia with speed and big plays, sprinting to a 55-17 victory in the Commonwealth Cup rivalry game Saturday in Charlottesville.
Hokies quarterback Kyron Drones threw three touchdown passes, including two long-distance connections to Da’Quan Felton, as Virginia Tech (6-6) earned bowl eligibility.
The Hokies’ Bhayshul Tuten scored on a 94-yard kickoff return and a 32-yard carry from scrimmage as each of Virginia Tech’s first six touchdown plays covered at least 32 yards.
Tucker Holloway added a 33-yard scoring burst as the Hokies won for the 18th time in the last 19 meetings with Virginia and improved to 61-38-5 in the series, which dates to 1895.
Virginia Tech outgained Virginia 500 to 286. The 55 points was the most a team has scored in series history as Virginia fell to 3-9.
The Virginia Tech defense made the afternoon miserable for Virginia quarterback Anthony Colandrea, who predicted a win four days earlier saying: “After we beat Virginia Tech, this program is going to shoot up.”
Virginia Tech had six sacks of Colandrea, who was 29-of-46 passing for 243 yards with an interception and two touchdowns, both to Malachi Fields in the second half.
The Hokies were so dominant in the first half that they had a 17-0 lead before the Cavaliers made their initial first down.
After John Love gave Virginia Tech a 3-0 lead with a 41-yard field goal, Drones struck with a 44-yard touchdown throw to Stephen Gosnell.
The next time the Hokies got the ball, Drones threw for 39 yards to Dae’Quan Wright on the first play of the second quarter. Two snaps later, Holloway swept right end on a reverse play, scoring from 33 yards out to put Virginia Tech up 17-0.
Later in the half, Tuten’s touchdown run from scrimmage made it 24-0.
On the Hokies’ first possession of the second half, Felton caught a short pass from Drones and dashed 84 yards up the Virginia Tech sideline. With a 31-0 lead, the rout was on.
Drones completed 10 of 22 passes for 244 yards without an interception. Tuten carried 16 times for 117 yards.
Virginia’s Malik Washington had 14 catches for 115 yards and became the ACC’s all-time leader in single-season receptions with 110.
Last year’s Commonwealth Cup game was canceled after a tragic shooting left three Virginia football players dead and another injured. It was the first time since 1969 that the teams did not meet.
– Field Level Media
When Virginia Tech opted out of a bowl game during the pandemic in 2020, it ended the nation’s longest active bowl streak at 27 straight seasons.
If the visiting Hokies (5-6, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) don’t beat rival Virginia (3-8, 2-5) for the Commonwealth Cup on Saturday, they will be staring at a new streak: two straight years without a bowl berth.
Virginia Tech heads into Charlottesville after losing two of its last three games, including a 35-28 decision at home last weekend against NC State.
The Hokies finished 3-8 in 2022 in their first season under head coach Brent Pry.
“We can’t hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves,” Pry said after the loss to the Wolfpack. “It hurts. We didn’t play our best. We’ve got to watch the film and correct the things that need correcting. We’ve got to be better at winning our one-on-one battles. We have to be an improved team when we go over there Saturday.”
Kyron Drones has passed for 1,750 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions and rushed for 592 yards and four scores this season. Bhayshul Tuten leads the Hokies with 610 rushing yards and seven TDs and Da’Quan Felton is the leading receiver with 35 catches for 534 yards and six scores.
Felton caught two of Drones’ three TD passes against NC State, but Tuten finished with minus-3 yards on two runs as Virginia Tech fell behind 28-7 early in the third quarter.
“They had too many points on the board,” Pry said. “We were behind too much. Felt like we had to throw the ball.”
Throwing the ball has not been a problem lately for Virginia. That’s especially true when wide receiver Malik Washington is on the receiving end.
The Cavaliers are coming off an emotional 30-27 home win against Duke last Saturday, ending a week that marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting deaths of three football players.
Washington, named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist this week, hauled in eight of freshman Anthony Colandrea’s passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns against the Blue Devils. He has broken Virginia’s single-season records for catches (96) and receiving yards (1,311) and ranks No. 2 in the nation in both categories.
“I just know the work that I put in and the work that we put in (during the) offseason, all throughout the winter, it’s paying off,” Washington said. “I love to see that.”
It was the sixth straight 100-yard game and the ninth of the season for the Northwestern transfer.
“I wish we had him for another year,” offensive coordinator Des Kitchings said. “I love the kid, and not just because of his statistics. I love his day-to-day (approach) and how he attacks it.”
Washington is facing a Virginia Tech defense that allowed a season-high three touchdown passes in the loss against NC State. The Hokies have intercepted only six passes this season, three of them by Dorian Strong.
This is the 104th meeting in the rivalry, with Virginia Tech owning a 60-38-5 advantage. The Hokies have won two in a row and 17 of the last 18 meetings.
–Field Level Media
Virginia will conclude an emotional week in Charlottesville on Saturday by facing a Duke team desperately seeking a win.
The visiting Blue Devils (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have dropped three of their last four games after a 5-1 start, including 47-45 in double overtime last Saturday at rival North Carolina.
The Cavaliers (2-8, 1-5) marked the one-year anniversary of the campus shooting deaths of three football players on Monday and also are dealing with last week’s serious injury to running back Perris Jones.
Jones underwent spinal surgery after being immobilized and carted off the field in the third quarter of Virginia’s 31-24 loss at Louisville last Thursday. He regained movement in all his extremities and was briefly able to walk, but his long-term prognosis is unclear.
The Cavaliers led 24-17 midway through the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold off the Cardinals, who scored two big-play touchdowns in the final 6:20: a 52-yard pass and a 73-yard run.
The Cavaliers have lost five games by seven points or less this season.
“We talk about finishing, being situationally aware and being great communicators,” Virginia defensive coordinator John Rudzinski said after the game. “Those are three life skills that our guys are going to take with them for the rest of their life, and tonight, we didn’t finish.”
The Blue Devils snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series with a 38-17 triumph over Virginia last season in Durham, N.C. Duke quarterback Riley Leonard rushed for two touchdowns and threw a TD pass.
Leonard missed his second straight game last Saturday against the Tar Heels due to an injured left toe. His status for the rest of the season remains uncertain.
Freshman Grayson Loftis passed for 189 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a score at North Carolina. A wild game ended when he was unable to connect with Jalon Calhoun in the back of the end zone on Duke’s two-point conversion attempt.
“We still have a chance to compete to get into a really exciting bowl game, and those are things that are really important to us,” Blue Devils coach Mike Elko said Monday. “We’ve got to bounce back and respond, and I believe we will.”
Duke hasn’t won at Virginia since 2013.
–Field Level Media
The University of Virginia marked the one-year anniversary Monday of the shooting deaths of three football players.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry were killed on the Charlottesville, Va., campus on Nov. 13, 2022.
“It may be the one-year anniversary for some people, but it’s just like yesterday for a lot of us,” athletic director Carla Williams said, per ESPN.
The three players were returning to school from a field trip to Washington, D.C., when they were shot and killed on a bus. Running back Mike Hollins was wounded in the attack but returned to lead the Cavaliers with seven rushing touchdowns so far this season.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., a former walk-on at Virginia, is facing three counts of second-degree murder. Marlee Morgan, a UVA student, was also wounded in the shooting.
The school opened the north gate at Scott Stadium on Monday to allow the public to visit the memorial plaques for Chandler, Davis and Perry between noon and 5 p.m. ET. The UVA chapel will also chime bells in their honor. Other events are planned across the campus.
“There’s so many different visuals around here that spark thoughts about Lavel, Devin and D’Sean,” football coach Tony Elliott said, per ESPN. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have feelings about them. On this day, I want it to be a true remembrance of the legacies of those young men.”
Virginia, which canceled the rest of the 2022 season following the tragedy, has two games remaining this season. The Cavaliers (2-8, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) host Duke on Saturday and Virginia Tech on Nov. 25.
–Field Level Media
Virginia running back Perris Jones is recovering from spinal surgery performed Friday, one day after being injured in a 31-24 loss at Louisville.
“Perris Jones underwent successful spine surgery Friday at the U of L Medical Center,” the University of Virginia posted Saturday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Today, Perris was able to briefly walk. He remains under observation and will be transferred to the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville for continued care when his medical team deems appropriate.”
Injured while being tackled after catching a pass in the third quarter, Jones was transported by ambulance to the University of Louisville Medical Center and has remained there since.
Cavaliers coach Tony Elliott told reporters after the game that the news he received from the hospital regarding Jones’ condition was “encouraging.”
Jones caught a swing pass and was running up the field when he was hit near the Louisville sideline. He fumbled on the play, but Virginia receiver Malik Washington scooped it up and scored a go-ahead 42-yard touchdown.
Louisville’s training staff immediately offered assistance to Jones as officials and players from both teams gathered around him.
Jones’ roommate is fellow running back Mike Hollins, a survivor of a shooting last November that killed three of their teammates. Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting deaths of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.
–Field Level Media
Isaac Guerendo’s 73-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left Thursday night snapped a tie and lifted No. 11 Louisville to a 31-24 win over visiting Virginia, bringing the Cardinals within a win of a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game next month.
Guerendo exploded off the right side, going untouched to the end zone for the score that improved the Cardinals to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC. It capped their rally from 21-14 and 24-17 deficits in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers (2-8, 1-5) maneuvered their way to the Louisville 45 on their last drive but it ended when Anthony Colandrea’s 4th-and-7 pass to Malachi Fields fell incomplete. That ended a marvelous game for Colandrea, a true freshman who completed 20 of 31 passes for 314 yards with an interception and added 89 yards on 14 rushes.
Malik Washington caught nine passes for 155 yards and returned a fumble 42 yards with 49 seconds left in the third quarter to give Virginia a 21-14 edge. The Cavaliers actually outgained the Cardinals 434-423 but committed 13 penalties for 100 yards.
Louisville’s Jack Plummer hit 19 of 28 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His 52-yard strike to Ahmari Huggins-Bruce with 6:20 remaining in the game tied it at 24.
Louisville controlled the first half behind a balanced offensive attack and its usual stifling defense that allowed Virginia to run only six plays on its half of the 50.
The Cardinals initiated scoring on Plummer’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Joey Gatewood at the 6:42 mark of the first quarter, finishing off a 60-yard drive. They have outscored opponents 76-7 in the first period this year.
Louisville made it 14-0 with 3:01 left in the half via a perfectly executed punt block scheme. D’Angelo Hutchinson snuffed out Daniel Sparks’ punt in the end zone and Jimmy Calloway ran under the ball in the back of the end zone.
Virginia got on the board with 4:15 on the clock in the third quarter on Jack Griese’s 1-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-goal, capping an 80-yard march.
–Field Level Media
Louisville looks to extend its 10-game home winning streak Thursday night against a Virginia team that has already played road spoiler once this season.
The Cardinals (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), No. 13 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings Oct. 31, are 5-0 at home this season and haven’t lost there since Sept. 16, 2022, against Florida State.
The Cavaliers (2-7, 1-4) were victorious on their most recent visit to Louisville in 2021, overcoming a 30-13 fourth-quarter deficit for a 34-33 win.
More recently, Virginia gained some confidence on the road with a 31-27 victory at then-No. 10 North Carolina Oct. 21 and a hard-fought 29-26 overtime loss at Miami Oct. 28.
“The team we are playing is very competitive,” Louisville coach Jeff Brohm said Monday of the Cavaliers. “They’ve lost five games by less than four points, and they beat North Carolina on the road.
“They will challenge us, so we’re going to have to play well and practice well. It’s a quick turnaround, but I think our guys understand what’s at stake.”
Louisville has not allowed a touchdown since Oct. 14. The Cardinals followed up a 23-0 win at then-No. 20 Duke on Oct. 28 with a 34-3 thrashing of Virginia Tech on Saturday.
“We have good athletes on defense. They like to play aggressively,” Brohm said. “We have the perfect mix of a few veterans who have played football, but also a lot more guys who didn’t have experience yet and they’re hungry and out to prove themselves.”
The defense held the Hokies to 140 total yards and allowed just 2-for-13 conversions on third and fourth downs. Isaac Guerendo rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns, while Jack Plummer completed all but one of his 12 pass attempts for 141 yards and a score to lead the Louisville offense.
Louisville knows it can’t afford a letdown against Virginia if it wants to remain on track for an appearance in the ACC championship game.
The Cavaliers followed up two strong road games with a dud at home Saturday, losing 45-17 to Georgia Tech after losing starting quarterback Anthony Muskett on the fifth play of the game to a right ankle injury.
True freshman Anthony Colandrea took over for Muskett and completed 21 of 37 passes for 200 yards with two TDs and an interception. Muskett is not expected to play at Louisville on a short week.
Malik Washington caught 11 passes for 109 yards and leads the ACC with 79 receptions and 1,044 yards.
The Yellow Jackets racked up 514 yards against Virginia, including 305 on the ground.
Cavaliers safety Jonas Sanker, who recorded a team-high 10 tackles, said there was plenty of blame to go around.
“Georgia Tech didn’t run against one player for however many yards they ran for. They ran against our defense. They ran against UVA,” Sanker said.
“Whatever it takes (to fix it), we’re gonna do it. So we’re gonna come back next week and we’re going to correct the things we messed up.”
Louisville holds a 6-5 lead in the all-time series with Virginia.
–Field Level Media
Haynes King ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score, propelling Georgia Tech to a 45-17 Atlantic Coast Conference victory at Virginia on Saturday in Charlottesville.
Jamal Haynes rushed for a career-high 119 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries as the Yellow Jackets rolled up 305 yards on the ground.
Dontae Smith contributed 113 yards rushing and receiving and carried for two touchdowns as Georgia Tech (5-4, 4-2 ACC) snapped a three-game losing streak to Virginia.
King completed 22 of 30 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown without an interception. The Texas A&M transfer also rushed for 83 yards on seven attempts.
The win was the second straight this season for the Yellow Jackets after following each of their previous wins with a defeat. Georgia Tech now has won five straight ACC road games, dating to last year.
Virginia (2-7, 1-4) lost starting quarterback Tony Muskett to a leg injury on the first series of the game. In relief, Anthony Colandrea completed 21 of 37 passes for 200 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.
Malik Washington had 11 receptions for 109 for Virginia, which is winless in six ACC home games in coach Tony Elliott’s two seasons.
After Colandrea threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Rawlings to give Virginia a 7-0 lead, the Yellow Jackets scored the next 24 points to take a lead that was never challenged.
In a dominant second quarter, the Yellow Jackets outgained the Cavaliers 205-64, with 169 of their yards coming on the ground.
Georgia Tech took the lead for good, 10-7, when King capped a 69-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.
After the Yellow Jackets’ defense forced two straight three-and-outs, their offense responded with long touchdown runs.
After faking a jet sweep handoff, King split the Virginia defense with a 34-yard sprint straight up the middle of the field for a 17-7 lead.
Less than two minutes later, Smith scored on a 33-yard burst off tackle, hiking the Yellow Jackets’ advantage to 24-7.
On the opening series of the second half, King hit Eric Singleton Jr. in stride on a 58-yard touchdown bomb to stretch the edge to 31-10 and the rout was on.
–Field Level Media