ATLANTA, NOV. 7 -- Enraged when an official overruled a colleague's call, Virginia Coach George Welsh charged onto Grant Field today, displaying an atypical burst of anger. "That was as mad as I've been in a long time," he said later. "But I didn't chase them {the referees}. I wasn't that mad."

Although his anger did not compel him to repeat last season's infamous referee chase by former Maryland Coach Bobby Ross, Welsh was able to channel his displeasure toward rallying the Cavaliers to their first road win of the season, a 23-14 decision over Ross' Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

The victory, before Georgia Tech's homecoming crowd of 38,111, gave the Cavaliers a 5-4 record (3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) and leaves them with a chance at a winning season. A victory against North Carolina next week would provide their first undefeated home season since 1951.

At 2-7, and 0-5 in the ACC, Georgia Tech has yet to beat a Division I team.

With 7:36 remaining in the third quarter and Virginia trailing, 14-10, a third-down pass from Georgia Tech quarterback Darrell Gast to Steve Davenport was first ruled incomplete by an official who indicated the ball had bounced into Davenport's hands.

But the call was overruled, giving the Yellow Jackets a first down. Welsh protested by running on the field, an action that drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and gave Georgia Tech even better field position. Moreover, a timeout was taken away from the Cavaliers, leaving them only one.

"I was angry because it was overruled," said Welsh. "But what really got me going was nobody said anything to me. You deserve an explanation, and then they charge us with a timeout. I think they ignored me, so that's why I went on the field."

He said he did not draw the penalty purposely to incite his team, but apparently it worked out that way. "I don't think the penalty hurt us. I think our kids got angry," he said. "Maybe they needed it."

The inspired Cavaliers responded by forcing Georgia Tech to punt three plays later and then drove 73 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. It came on a five-yard pass to Tim Finkelston from Scott Secules, who did not pass for more than 200 yards for the first time in five games.

Running back Marcus Wilson, who had runs of 22 and 37 yards to set up Virginia's final touchdowns, put the Cavaliers in position to score the go-ahead touchdown with a run to the 6-yard line.

Two plays later, Secules pitched out poorly to Wilson, who lost control of the ball near the sideline. Five defenders swarmed toward the ball, but somehow running back Durwin Greggs, the only Cavalier to venture into the pile, emerged with the ball.

On the next play, Secules found Finkelston alone in the corner of the end zone.

"Greggs' recovery was very big," said Secules, who completed 17 of 25 passes for 164 yards and scored Virginia's other touchdown on a one-yard sneak.

"A turnover there swings the momentum. For us to make the recovery and come back with a touchdown pass, that shifts the momentum to us."

The Cavaliers, idle last week, were not sharp in the first half. After a pass interference call set up their first touchdown with 5:07 left in the first quarter, they got only a field goal by Mark Inderlied as the half ended. He ended the scoring with two more in the fourth quarter.

Virginia 7 3 7 6 23 Georgia Tech 7 0 7 0 14

V -- Secules 1 run (Inderlied kick)

GT -- Davenport 22 pass from Gast (Palmer kick)

V -- FG Inderlied 45

GT -- Hills 2 run (Palmer kick)

V -- Finkleston 5 pass from Secules (Inderlied kick)

V -- FG Inderlied 31

V -- FG Inderlied 26

A -- 38,111

Virginia Ga. Tech First downs 22 16 Rushes-yards 50-206 38-159 Passing yards 164 170 Return yards 8 3 Passing 17-25-0 13-27-0 Punts-average 4-39 5-36 Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0 Penalties-yards 7-51 2-20 Time


RUSHING -- Virginia: Wilson 22-125, Morgan 11-41, Greggs 11-34, Secules 5-7. Georgia Tech: Hills 19-52, Sco

PASSING -- Virginia: Secules 17-25-0, 164 yards. Georgia Tech: Gast 13-26-0, 170, Palmer, 0-1-0, 0.

RECEIVING -- Virginia: Finkleston 6-67, Ford, 4-27, McGonnigal 3-30. Georgia Tech: Davenport 4-74, Lester 4