Last-second field goal beats UVA in Gator Bowl [January 2]

Hands up if you’re tired of skinny, alter-boy-looking kickers deciding big-time football games after the real (read: beefy) players battle it out for 59 minutes. Al Groh, Chris Long, we can see you in the back. No need for jumping.

Chris Long and the Cavs were in the lead for much of Tuesday’s Gator Bowl, but the tables turned late in the fourth quarter.

On New Year’s Day, UVA lost the Gator Bowl in the final seconds when Texas Tech kicker Alex Trlica nailed a 41-yard field goal, giving the Red Raiders a 31-28 victory over the Cavs. UVA had controlled the game—and the Red Raiders’ high-powered offense—up until its final minutes, when Peter Lalich, a true freshman in at quarterback for the injured Jameel Sewell, fumbled on UVA’s 4-yard line, essentially giving Texas Tech a game-tieing touchdown. (Lest we blame Lalich, who tossed a touchdown pass minutes earlier, be it noted that Texas Tech’s Rajon Henley, who knocked the ball out of Lalich’s hand, came through the line completely, utterly, biblically unblocked.)

With the loss, the Cavs missed an opportunity to record their second-ever 10-win season, finishing 9-4. No word yet on how many tickets UVA was able to sell at the last minute to avoid major NCAA-football embarrassment, but TV shots of the stadium showed a whole lot of empty seats.

Previous "This Just In" articles from this week:

Kaine stumps for Obama [January 1]
Joins the presidential candidate in Iowa

Tim Kaine for (UVA) president [December 31]
Times-Dispatch columnist speculates on guv’s next act

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