Wake Forest quarterback Gary Schofield completed 30 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns today, and the Deacon defense intercepted two passes in the final four minutes to defeat Virginia, 24-21, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game. The loss was Virginia's 10 straight and seventh this year.
Two Cavalier fumbles led to 10 first-half Wake Forest points, and a third ended a Virginia drive at the Deacon 22-yard line.
And although quarterback Gordie Whitehead threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns, two of his biggest passes turned out to be ones Greg Taylor dropped -- one in the Wake Forest end zone and another on the run at the Deacon 22.
Virginia outgained Wake on the ground -- 217 yards to 67 -- and in total offense -- 492 yards to 466. But after Taylor dropped the first pass, the Cavaliers were forced to punt, and after he dropped the second, Wayne Morrison missed a 42-yard field goal attempt.
"When you throw and catch the football, people are going to drop them once in a while," Virginia Coach Dick Bestwick said. "I could chew him (Taylor) out, but why chew him out for dropping a pass? I'm sure he wanted to catch them more than anyone."
Wake Forest, 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference, built a 10-0 first-quarter lead and never trailed.
On Virginia's second possession of the game, Derek Jenkins fumbled following a 16-yard gain and Wake Forest's Henderson Threatt fell on the ball at Virginia's 40. The Deacons moved to the Virginia six, largely on a 30-yard pass from Schofield to tight end Mike Mullen, but stalled there. Phil Denfeld kicked a 23-yard field goal.
Four minutes later, after Rickey Callinder had intercepted a Schofield pass in the Cavalier end zone, first year running back Malcolm Pittman fumbled and Deacon Ronnie Burgess recovered on the Cavalier 11. Schofield passed 11 yards to Tim Ryan for the touchdown.
"That (pass) is what we do best," said Groh, celebrating his own homecoming along with a crowd of 24,222. Groh played at Virginia and was an assistant coach here.
The Cavaliers opened the second quarter with an 82-yard touchdown drive to narrow the Deacons' lead to three. Freshman running back Darren Goode, who finished the game with 127 yards, picked up 48 during the drive. On third and goal from the Wake Forest 13, Whitehead found Taylor in the end zone.
The Deacons went ahead, 17-7, with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Schofield passed 24 yards to a diving Kenny Duckett for a touchdown on the drive's 10th play.
Virginia scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but Wake Forest also scored one to keep the lead.
The Cavaliers pulled within four when Whitehead completed a 31-yard pass to Taylor for the touchdown. Morrison's extra point attempt hit the left goal post and deflected wide.
Wake Forest took the ensuing kickoff 74 yards in seven plays. Schofield threw two passes that covered 42 yards, including a 12-yarder to Bill Ruffner for the touchdown.
The Cavaliers went 80 yards in eight plays on their next possession. Whitehead threw a 49-yard scoring pass to Henry Johnson, who got past three Deacon defenders at the 20. Whitehead then completed a pass to Mark Sanford for the two-point conversion.