jump to example.com

Game Preview: UVA faces UConn in key early-season clash

UVA football, for once, isn’t an underdog as it prepares for a weekend FBS opponent.

uva footballThe Cavs (1-1) are 10-point favorites with UConn (1-0) coming to town for Saturday’s noon kickoff at Scott Stadium.

The Huskies have only played one game because their scheduled game last week with #22 South Florida was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.

Week 1 saw UConn have to rally in the fourth quarter to eke out a 27-20 win over FCS opponent Holy Cross, which led 20-7 at the half.

The Crusaders, picked fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll, outgained UConn 447-438, and forced two Huskies turnovers while also dominating time of possession (33:11-26:49).

UConn was able to get its running game going, getting 130 yards and three touchdowns from redshirt freshman Nate Hopkins.

Backup quarterback Bryant Shirreffs came in off the bench in the second half to lead the offense on three touchdown drives, completing nine of his 13 pass attempts for 124 yards and a touchdown in two quarters of action.

A former two-year starter, Shirreffs had lost his job to junior transfer David Pindell in his first camp under new UConn coach Randy Edsall.

Shirreffs is listed as the starter on the depth chart heading into the weekend, with Pindell, who was 19-of-28 passing for 154 yards in his time under center against Holy Cross, the backup.

The top target for the QBs is 6’2” junior wideout Hergy Mayala, who had 106 yards on nine catches and a touchdown against Holy Cross, after catching 23 balls a year ago.

Also watch out for 6’3” redshirt freshman wide receiver Keyion Dixon, who had five catches for 38 yards.

The UConn defense got burned by the pass in the Holy Cross opener, surrendering 358 yards through the air, though the ground defense was solid, allowing the Crusaders just 89 yards on 26 attempts.

This could be an issue for Virginia, which has run for 147 yards total in its first two games, and is averaging just 2.6 yards per attempt on the ground.

Another issue for Virginia will be protecting the quarterback. Kurt Benkert was sacked just once last week in the 34-17 loss to Indiana after William & Mary had gotten to him three times in UVA’s 28-10 win.

UConn registered two sacks in its win over Holy Cross.

As long as the Cavs O line can keep Benkert upright, you can expect to see him show some effectiveness through the air. Benkert, a redshirt senior and second-year starter, has thrown for 521 yards and four touchdowns through two games, completing 62.9 percent of his passes.

Virginia has gone back-to-back games without committing a turnover this season, breaking a streak of 42 straight games in which the team had committed at least one turnover, dating back to 2013.

The UVA defense has been solid in all phases, ranking fifth in the ACC in total defense, allowing 274 yards a game.

Senior safety Quin Blanding leads the ACC in tackles with 24, with senior linebacker Micah Kiser tied for second at 21.

Story by Chris Graham

   
Discussion
 
Highlights

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

   
Recent Posts
   
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.