A lot of attention has been paid to the 1995 football game between Virginia and Florida as the teams prepare to meet in Charlottesville on Saturday night, but ACC Network airing of the 2011 game between the Cavaliers and Seminoles shows just how riveting that game was.
An unranked UVa team went into Tallahassee, Florida, on Nov. 19, 2011, and upset the No. 23 Seminoles 14-13 in a bizarre finish that saw the Cavaliers leave the field under the impression that the game was over.
But Virginia had to return to the field and sweat out a missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt by the ’Noles Dustin Hopkins, who was normally automatic from that range.
Only moments earlier, UVa linebacker Billy Schautz had been carted off the field with a gruesome injury resulting from a broken tibia and fibula sustained in the game’s waning moments.
That UVa team was unranked and, after moving to No. 24 in the polls, was trounced one week later by sixth-ranked Virginia Tech in Charlottesville, 38-0.
The Cavaliers subsequently received a bid to the Chick-fil-A-Bowl, where they were beaten 43-24 by Auburn, finishing the season 8-5, their only winning season over a 10-year span.
The Cavaliers’ Mike London was named ACC coach of the year in what was his second season. His six-year term ended with a 4-8 season in 2015, after which he was succeeded by Bronco Mendenhall.
On a personal note, I’ll always remember London for his act of kindness after the 2011 game at FSU, when he called cancer-stricken Roanoke County resident and UVa fan Kendall Bayne on the flight home.
The new network is also revisiting the 1995 game one more time at 3 p.m. Thursday.