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The decisive play may have been Jones‘ 78-yard touchdown catch, which came on a third-and-2 situation.

That’s traditionally a running situation, especially for a team that has thrived on the run, but instead offensive coordinator Bill Lazor spread out the backfield.

Quarterback Michael Rocco suspected man-to-man coverage, and sent Perry Jones in motion. It confirmed that Rocco had the matchup he wanted — Jones wasn’t being covered by a cornerback.

Perry’s special when he’s got a linebacker on him,” Rocco said. “We ran a post route, hit him in stride, and he took it to the house.”

Now the Cavaliers are 5-3 entering the final games of the season, including a home game against Duke where they’ll be heavily favored.

A representative from the Independence Bowl was on hand to chat with U.Va. staff after the game. It seems like an obtainable goal, but the Virginia players say they knew that all along.

• Read Michael Phillips’ blog at: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/list/sports-college-uva/