Down with 44 seconds to go, Virginia Tech forced overtime as time expired and rallied for a 20-17 season-opening win over Georgia Tech behind two crucial field goals by kicker Cody Journell.
The comeback victory over its Atlantic Coast Conference rival earned Virginia Tech selection as the Week 1 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2012 College Football Game of the Year Contest.
Journell, who had missed a crucial field goal earlier in the game, made up for it by kicking a 41-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime. He then punched in a game-winning 17-yard field goal in the extra period to seal the win for then-No. 16 Virginia Tech.
Georgia Tech had silenced the sellout crowd at Virginia Tech when Yellow Jackets quarterback Tevin Washington hit Deon Hill with a 10-yard scoring pass with 44 seconds left in regulation to put the visitors ahead, 17-14 in the nationally televised Monday night game.
Every year under the ACC’s current division alignment, the winner of the Virginia Tech- Georgia Tech matchup has gone on to win the division. Five times that has been Virginia Tech, and twice it has been Georgia Tech.
A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season.
This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”
Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting to the winning university and $5,000 to its general scholarship fund.