After a Miss, Cavs' Gould Makes Game-Winning Field Goal

Vic Hall, Chris Gould
Vic Hall, left, celebrates with place-kicker Chris Gould after Gould kicks a game-winning field goal in the final seconds Saturday night. (Mark Humphrey - AP)
By Antonio Gonzalez
Associated Press
Sunday, October 7, 2007

MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Oct. 6 -- After missing an extra point that nearly cost his team the game, Chris Gould couldn't wait for a chance at redemption.

Gould kicked a 34-yard field goal with eight seconds left, going from goat to hero in one play and helping Virginia beat pesky Middle Tennessee, 23-21, on Saturday for its fifth consecutive victory.

"I went out there and just tried to compose myself, keep my head down and make up for the kick I missed earlier," Gould said. "We were pretty emotional and at that point I just had to do what I had to do. That's the life of a kicker."

Virginia marched 63 yards with 1 minute 26 seconds remaining to get in field goal range. Jameel Sewell, after throwing a late interception, completed 5 of 6 passes on the drive. Middle Tennessee called a timeout to try to freeze Gould, and his teammates could hardly bear the suspense.

"I just prayed," Virginia left tackle Branden Albert said. "I said, 'Just let it go through, please.' I thought I was going to have a heart attack."

The Cavaliers (5-1) had 151 yards rushing and matched their longest winning streak since 2004, spoiling the hopes of the Blue Raiders (1-5) of becoming the third Sun Belt team to knock off a school from a Bowl Championship Series conference this year.

Troy defeated Oklahoma State, and Florida Atlantic beat Minnesota in wins for the Sun Belt this season.

"It hurts," Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Stockstill said. "Our guys hurt because we had a chance at doing something special."

Bradley Robinson intercepted Sewell late in the fourth quarter to set up a short touchdown rush by DeMarco McNair that gave Middle Tennessee a 21-20 lead. Robinson returned the interception 22 yards, the 11th pick of his career.

Andrew Pearman rushed for two touchdowns for the Cavaliers in relief of ACC leading rusher Cedric Peerman, who left the game with a sprained ankle in the second quarter.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company