Hokies pound Cavaliers in second half

By Mark Viera
Sunday, November 29, 2009

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Al Groh left Scott Stadium on Saturday for perhaps the final time as Virginia's coach, offering not so much as a wave as he jogged off the field and into a seemingly uncertain future.

The Cavaliers' 42-13 loss to No. 14 Virginia Tech provided punctuation for their third losing season in the last four years, and likely for Groh's nine-year tenure here.

When asked afterward to address his job security, Groh pulled out a piece of paper and read Dale Wimbrow's poem "The Guy in the Glass." When Groh finished, he continued by reading his own poignant addendum.

"When I visited the guy in the glass," Groh said of looking at himself in the mirror, "I saw that he's a guy of commitment, of integrity, of dependability and accountability. He's loyal. His spirit is indomitable. And he's caring and loving. I'm sure I will always call the guy in the glass a friend."

With that, Groh walked off the stage and to the back of the interview room. Past a row of television cameras, he hugged his daughter, Ashley Anne, who was crying. He also hugged his wife, Anne, before exiting.

"I love Coach Groh," right tackle Will Barker said. "I appreciate what he's done for me, my teammates and this program."

Athletic Director Craig Littlepage has said Groh's situation would be evaluated after the season. But Virginia (3-9, 2-6 ACC) has lost its most games in a season since 1982. And with dwindling attendance at home games and poor recruiting classes in recent seasons, Groh's fate seems all but determined.

As coach of the Cavaliers, Groh has a 59-53 record and is 1-8 against Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech holds a 49-37-5 edge in the in-state rivalry for the Commonwealth Cup. With their sixth consecutive win over the Cavaliers, the Hokies tied their longest winning streak in the series; Virginia Tech also had such a run from 1958 to 1963.

The Hokies (9-3, 6-2) capped their year on a sweet note with the win over the hated Cavaliers, even though sour tunes have played at times in Blacksburg this season.

With losses by Clemson and North Carolina on Saturday, Virginia Tech is aligned for a trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31. An at-large invitation to the Bowl Championship Series seems unlikely.

Hokies running back Ryan Williams had his second consecutive four-touchdown game and rushed for a career-high 183 yards. He has 20 total touchdowns for the season, which is an ACC freshman record.

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