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It was just one loss, folks! UVA Football Nation in despair

chris graham uvaUVA football doesn’t just lose a game now and then. When it loses, the wheels come off the bandwagon.

Take Saturday’s 41-10 loss to Boston College. Even before the opening kickoff, you had 20,000-plus empty seats with a team coming in on a four-game winning streak in town, which is … nice.

Same fan base that will pack JPJ to the rafters for the home opener with mighty UNC-Greensboro in two weeks comes dressed early for Halloween as a sea of empty seats.

Then there’s the game. A team whose signature has been its stout defense gave up two of the weakest touchdowns you’ll see all season in the first quarter, a pair of 76-yard scores, one on a jet sweep in which Thadd Smith got around the edge at the line of scrimmage and was virtually untouched down the left sideline, the second on a bubble screen to Kobay White where White cut inside the blocks at the line of scrimmage, then ran basically untouched down the middle of the field.

Spectacularly weak effort, both of those, from the UVA defense.

Then there was the left-handed backhand interception thrown by UVA QB Kurt Benkert, who by and large had avoided the brain farts that had marred his first season as the starter last year.


Maybe he was just frustrated that the Virginia offense was in the process of only being able to muster 247 yards against a team that had given up an average of 445 yards a game coming in, and had surrendered 625 yards in BC’s 45-42 win at Louisville a weak earlier.

Which gets us to the decision by coach Bronco Mendenhall to burn the redshirt of true freshman quarterback Lindell Stone, inserted in garbage time for Benkert, and looking not good in the process, throwing two picks in his nine pass attempts.

As recently as a week ago, Stone was the QB of the future, and Mendenhall and his staff were doing what they could to protect Stone from having to see game action unless absolutely necessary, despite his presence at #2 on the depth chart, with the thinness at the QB position on the UVA roster.

Now, the talk in the media and on the message boards: eh, maybe he’s not the quarterback of the future after all, so, whatever, burn the redshirt, don’t burn it, doesn’t matter.

Reminder: the loss yesterday, ugly as it was, was Virginia’s first loss in ACC play, and the ‘Hoos are still a win away from bowl eligibility for the first time in six years.

Somebody needs to get the spares out of the trunk so we can get the bandwagon back on the road and pointed in the right direction.

Editor’s Note: The guy writing this column is now planning to travel to New York for Thanksgiving with the UVA basketball team, after waffling for weeks over that trip vis-à-vis the Black Friday football game at home against Virginia Tech.

So, yeah, do as I say, not as I do.

Column by Chris Graham