Muskett injured as Yellow Jackets sting Cavaliers, 45-17

By Scott Ratcliffe

Photo by Michael Bruder

Virginia not only lost its fifth-straight home ACC contest on Saturday, it also lost starting quarterback Tony Muskett to injury, along with the possibility of preserving backup freshman Anthony Colandrea’s redshirt status.

Muskett left the game with a right ankle injury on the Cavaliers’ second possession of the game and did not return. Tony Elliott briefly went with little-used reserve Grady Brosterhous before electing to put Colandrea on the field, thus burning his redshirt as he was participating in his fifth game of the season.

The true freshman, who hadn’t seen action since the NC State game on Sept. 22, struggled to get much offensive rhythm going as the Yellow Jackets came into Scott Stadium and walked out with a 45-17 rout, officially eliminating Virginia from bowl-eligibility consideration in the process.

Colandrea got the Hoos (2-7, 1-4 ACC) off to a nice start, immediately leading a scoring drive that culminated in a 9-yard touchdown toss to Joshua Rawlings, the first TD reception of his career.

The Ramblin’ Wreck (5-4, 4-2) responded with an Aidan Birr 41-yard field goal to get on the scoreboard before UVA’s Will Bettridge misfired on a 48-yarder on the final play of the first quarter.

Tech went ahead and never looked back after a long 16-play, 69-yard drive that took 6:18 off the clock, as quarterback Haynes King faked a pitch and took it in himself from 2 yards out, and Virginia trailed, 10-7, with 8:42 left in the first half.

After a Colandrea fumble, the Jackets struck again before halftime when King again found the end zone, this time on a 34-yard keeper untouched up the middle, and the Hoos were staring at a 17-7 deficit with 2:24 until the break. But the visitors weren’t done.

Virginia punted it right back, and Tech took over from its own 30 with still 1:32 left on the clock, as King broke off another big chunk of yards with his legs — this one for 29 yards inside the UVA 30-yard line. That set up a Dontae Smith 33-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 24-7 with 28 ticks showing.

UVA benefited from a Kevin Harris facemask penalty before Colandrea rifled one to Malik Washington for 25 yards, and the Hoos managed to squeeze in a Bettridge 39-yarder before the halftime horn, but still trailed by two scores.

Tech tacked onto the lead to start the third quarter with a 58-yard strike from King to Eric Singleton Jr., then after the Cavaliers punted on their following two possessions, they turned the ball over on downs to start the fourth quarter on a Colandrea incompletion intended for Malachi Fields on fourth-and-7 from Tech’s 39.

On that drive, Washington — who ultimately went on to record another 100-yard performance with a game-high 109 on 11 grabs — eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards on the year, becoming the fastest Wahoo to ever achieve that feat (in his ninth game).

It looked as though the Hoos had stolen back a little momentum with an apparent Tayvonn Kyle fumble recovery, but the Jackets retained possession after Malcolm Greene, who jarred the ball loose from Abdul Janneh, was flagged for targeting on the play. On the next snap, Smith scored from 10 yards out to push the lead to 38-10 with 10:57 remaining.

Colandrea, who completed 21 of his 37 attempts on the day for 200 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception (he also led the team in rushing with 33 yards on 7 carries), was able to engineer one final scoring march, capped off by a 8-yard slant to Kobe Pace with 8:47 to go.

After the Jackets recovered the ensuing onside kick, they applied the final blow less than a minute later with a Jamal Haynes 43-yard trot down the Tech sideline.

The UVA defense gave up a season-worst 514 yards of total offense (305 rushing, also a season-high; 209 passing). On the flip side, the Hoos were only able to account for 119 yards on the ground against Tech’s rush defense, which came into the game ranked last in that category among Power Five schools this season.

Team Notes

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

  • Virginia’s three-game win streak against Georgia Tech was snapped. The all-time series is tied at 22-22-1.
  • The 28-point victory was the largest margin by either team in the series against Georgia Tech since 2012 (GT, won 56-20).
  • Virginia led 7-3 after the first quarter and has held a lead of at least seven points in six of its nine games this season.
  • Georgia Tech scored 21 points in the second quarter, tied for the most by an opponent this season (Maryland scored 21 in 4th quarter).
  • The Virginia defense recorded a season-high, eight tackles for loss in the contest. The most in a game since 10 tackles for loss, including eight sacks, against the Yellow Jackets in last year’s meeting.
  • UVA allowed a season-high, 514 yards of total offense including 305 on the ground. The Yellow Jackets recorded 200 of its rushing yards on nine plays.
  • The 305 rushing yards were the most by an opponent since 385 against BYU in 2021. The 500 yards of total offense were the most by an opponent since Pitt in 2021 (514).
  • Three different players (Tony Muskett, Grady Brosterhous and Anthony Colandrea) completed a pass in the contest, the most in a game since 2020 against Abilene Christian (Brennan Armstrong, Lindell Stone and Keytaon Thompson).

Player Notes

  • Malik Washington caught 11 passes for 109 yards, his fourth-straight 100-yard game. He is the first player in school history to record four consecutive 100-yard receiving games.
  • Washington became the sixth player in UVA history to go over the 1,000-yard receiving mark and is the fastest Virginia player (nine games) with 1,000 receiving yards. UVA’s other 1,000-yard receivers include: Dontayvion Wicks (1,203 in 2021), Herman Moore (1,190 in 1990), Hasise Dubois (1,062 in 2019), Billy McMullen (1,060 in 2001) and Olamide Zaccheaus (1,058 in 2018).
  • Washington has recorded double-digit receptions in three-straight games (12 vs. North Carolina and 12 vs. Miami) and has caught a pass in 34-straight games dating back to his time at Northwestern.
  • For the season, Washington has 1,044 yards, 14 yards behind Olamide Zaccheaus for the fifth most in a single season in UVA history. His 79 receptions on the year are the fourth-most in a single season in program history.
  • Washington accounted for 170 all-purpose yards which included a career-high, 40-yard kick return.
  • Brosterhous completed his first collegiate pass, a 21-yard completion to Malik Washington in the first quarter.
  • Josh Rawlings hauled in his first career touchdown catch to give UVA the initial 7-0 lead. The reception was his second of his career.
  • Ben Smiley recorded UVA’s lone sack in the contest, it was his second of the season and now has 3.5 sacks in his career.
  • Jonas Sanker led the Cavaliers in tackles with 10 (five solo). It was his second double-digit tackle effort of the season. He now has 79 tackles on the year, the most on the team.
  • Kobe Pace caught his third touchdown of the season. He has 14 career touchdowns (10 rush, 4 rec).

Game Stats

Scoring Summary
Georgia Tech     3  21  7  14 — 45
Virginia               7   3   0   7 — 31

First Quarter
UVA (8:30) — Rawlings 9-yd pass from Colandrea (Bettridge kick). UVA 7, GT 0.
GT (5:26) — Birr 41-yd field goal. UVA 7, GT 3.

Second Quarter
GT (8:36) — King 2-yd run (Birr kick). GT 10, UVA 7.
GT (2:24) — King 34-yd run (Birr kick). GT 17, UVA 7.
GT (0:28) — Smith 33-yd run (Birr kick). GT 24, UVA 7.
UVA (0:00) — Bettridge 39-yd field goal. GT 24, UVA 10.

Third Quarter
GT (12:41) — Singleton Jr. 58-yd pass from King (Birr kick). GT 31, UVA 10.

Fourth Quarter
GT (10:57) — Smith 10-yd run (Birr kick). GT 38, UVA 10.
UVA (8:47) — Pace 8-yd pass from Colandrea (Bettridge kick). GT 38, UVA 17.
GT (7:56) — Haynes 43-yd run (Birr kick). GT 45, UVA 17.

Player Stats

GT — Jamal Haynes 17-119; Haynes King 7-83; Dontae Smith 15-78; Evan Dickens 3-15; Zach Pyron 2-10. TOTAL — 44-305.
UVA — Anthony Colandrea 7-33; Kobe Pace 6-26; Perris Jones 9-26; Mike Hollins 5-25; Tony Muskett 1-6; Amaad Foston 1-3. TOTAL — 29-119.

GT — Eric Singleton Jr. 5-80; Dontae Smith 3-35; Dominick Blaylock 3-22; Abdul Janneh 1-18; Dylan Leonard 3-17; Malik Rutherford 3-16; Brett Seither 1-7; Jamal Haynes 3-7; Luke Benson 1-6; Christian Leary 1-1. TOTAL — 24-209.
UVA — Malik Washington 11-109; Malachi Fields 5-65; JR Wilson 2-19; Kobe Pace 3-16; Suderian Harrison 1-14; Joshua Rawlings 1-9. TOTAL — 23-232.

GT — Haynes King 23-30-208-1-0; Zach Pyron 1-3-1-0-0. TOTAL — 24-33-209-1-0.
UVA — Anthony Colandrea 21-37-200-2-1; Grady Brosterhous 1-1-21-0-0; Tony Muskett 1-2-11-0-1. TOTAL — 23-40-232-2-2.


It doesn’t get any easier for the Cavaliers, who will once again hit the road for a primetime, Thursday-night affair (7:30 p.m., ESPN) against 13th-ranked Louisville, which moved to 8-1 on the season with a 34-3 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday.