He made c e r t a i n , t hough, t hat he had enough to share his admiration for the way his team bounced back.
“I’m not sure there’s anything that feels better than this right now,” he said.
The Cavaliers (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) came into the game having lost two in a row, both in lopsided fashion.
“They decided t hat they wanted to be different and play different than they had the last two weeks,” Mendenhall said.
On the final drive, after a short kickoff set the Cavaliers up at their 36, Benkert hit Olamide Zaccheaus for 19 yards on a first play. Benkert ran for five yards, then hit Jordan Ellis with a pass for five more. An 8-yard connection with Doni Dowling followed, and then the touchdown to Levrone, who was in one-onone coverage.
“We’ve been on the opposite end of that way too many times since I’ve been here,” said Benkert, a transfer from East Carolina, “and just to have that opportunity, to come over the hump of six wins and to do it in that fashion, I don’t think you could have put together a better storybook ending for that game.”
Unless, of course, you were in the other locker room. Georgia Tech (4-4, 3- 3) scored on the first two plays from scrimmage in the second half, opening a 28- 13 lead and stunning those that braved the cold rain, but then allowed Benkert and the Cavaliers to begin mounting their comeback immediately.
“It was a killer; we let them drive down the field and score,” Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said.
When Georgia Tech went ahead late, quarterback TaQuon Marshall twice kept the drive alive by running the ball on third down, the second time to get to Virginia’s 33. On the next play, he found Ricky Jeune on a slant route and the wide receiver took it untouched into the end zone. A two- point conversion run by Marshall made the score 36- 33, preventing Virginia from winning with the field goal, but the Cavaliers didn’t need one as Benkert completed all four of his passes on the winning drive.
His touchdown pass to Levrone was his third of the day and the second for the tandem. Levrone also caught a 34-yarder, and Doni Dowling caught a 28-yarder.