Virginia’s Hagans a one-man gang

first_imgCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Bobby Bowden has seen a lot in 40 years of coaching, from Heisman Trophy winners to the wonder of Michael Vick in a national championship. But he’s never seen anything that topped what Marques Hagans did to the fourth-ranked Seminoles on Saturday night, dodging pass rushers all night long, and often finding a receiver and firing a laser into his arms while running for his life. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Hagans threw for a career-best 306 yards and two touchdowns and Connor Hughes kicked four field goals for the Cavaliers (4-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who reprised history and beat a top-5 team for only the second time in their history. The other was Florida State, too, 10 years ago. This one, though, was particularly sweet for the Cavaliers, coming as they were off back-to-back double-digit road losses at Maryland and Boston College. “I’m tired,” said Hagans, who connected on 27 of 36 passes. “But the win was so big. We had lost two in a row and the season was on the line.” Like their victory in 1995, which ended with Warrick Dunn stopped inches from the goal line on the final play to preserve a 33-28 victory, this one went to the wire, too, sealed by Tony Franklin’s interception of Drew Weatherford with 50 seconds left. “I’ve never seen a quarterback make as many one-man plays as he made tonight,” Bowden said after Hagans led Virginia to a 26-21 victory against the Seminoles. “We couldn’t stop that dadgum No. 18,” Bowden said. center_img “It was real tense,” said All-ACC linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who played for only the second time this season after knee surgery. “We just needed someone to make a play.” Franklin’s interception was the third of the night for Virginia. “It’s a great feeling,” the senior, one of four captains, said. “Take it back to high school when I won the state championship. It’s on that level.” Leading 26-10 entering the final quarter, the Cavaliers led only 26-21 when they stopped the Seminoles (5-1, 3-1) near midfield with 3 minutes to go. Hagans then ran for 6 yards before Florida State’s Tony Carter was called for pass interference on third down, giving Virginia a badly needed first down. After Hagans came up a yard short on the next third-and-7 run, the Cavaliers punted and Florida State got one last chance from its own 26 with 56 seconds left. Weatherford threw deep downfield, but Franklin was inside the receiver and made the catch. Two downings of the ball brought thousands of students out onto the field. “It’s huge,” said Hughes, who stretched his string of field goals made to 10 with kicks of 50, 37, 35 and 45 yards. “I feel like we finally broke through. We really held on and showed some guts today at the end of the game, and that’s something we really needed to prove not only to ourselves, but I feel like everybody around us.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more