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Armstrong builds on work of Perkins, Benkert, heading potent UVA offense

brennan armstrong
UVA QB Brennan Armstrong. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Brennan Armstrong’s predecessors at QB1 at Virginia, Kurt Benkert and Bryce Perkins, are in the NFL, and he’s looking to be the best of the bunch.

“Kurt Benkert was the quarterback that we started with here at UVA as a transfer, and he set all kinds of passing records and helped us, and he’s still in the NFL. Then we chose Bryce Perkins, that not many other people wanted, and then he broke records and takes us to the Orange Bowl, and we win the Coastal championship, so he breaks Kurt’s records, and he’s still in the NFL. Now here comes Brennan,” UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

“Robert Anae and Jason Beck have done a masterful job with this offense and with quarterback development, and so when you mention ‘all this work,’ this is six years’ worth of work. Brennan is just the next, and yeah, he’s worked really hard, but this is now the third quarterback in a row, and there’s a strong string of quarterback development prior to us arriving here, so I’m really lucky with what Robert and Jason are doing, and our players are lucky, and Brennan is – yeah, he’s doing an amazing job,” Mendenhall said.

Armstrong is putting up video-game numbers in his second season as the starter, leading the nation in passing yards (3,220), which has him 318 yards behind Perkins for the single-season record at UVA.

Don’t want to assume anything, but he very well could break the record this weekend at BYU, in the ninth game of the season.

Perkins set the record back in 2019 in 14 games.

More numbers, courtesy UVA Media Relations:

  • Armstrong has thrown for 300 or more yards seven times and 400 yards four times in eight games this season. Prior to this year a UVA quarterback hadn’t thrown for 300 yards more than four times (Matt Schaub and Bryce Perkins) in the same season and thrown for 400 yards twice in the same season.
  • Armstrong has thrown for 300 yards in three-straight games for the second time this season. No quarterback at UVA had ever thrown for 300-yards in three-straight games prior to this season.
  • Nationally, Armstrong ranks second in total offense (424.6), second in passing yards per game (402.5), third in points responsible for (170), fourth in completions per game (29.9) and fifth in passing TDs (23).
  • There have been 25, 400-yard passing performances across FBS this season, Armstrong owns four of them. Tops on the list is his school-record, 554-yard game against North Carolina.
  • Armstrong has accumulated 3,397 yards of total offense this season, the most in the country and the third-highest total in a single-season in school history.

“I’ve got a lot of talent around me, and that’s what makes it fun,” Armstrong said after Virginia’s 48-40 win over Georgia Tech, in which he threw for 396 yards and four TDs and ran for 99 yards and two more TDs.

“A lot of talent up in front and with KT (Keytaon Thompson) and the running backs. They did a heck of a job. We had, I don’t know how many rushing yards, but we had a good chunk of rushing yards and a good chunk of passing yards. I felt like we were really balanced and got the job done,” Armstrong said.

That’s understated on the part of Armstrong. Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said after the game that the game plan was to try to throw the kitchen sink at Armstrong to mix him up, including blitzing him on 18 dropbacks.

Against the blitz, Armstrong was 13-of-16 passing for 201 yards and four TDs.

For the season against blitzes, Armstrong is 85-of-129 for 1,197 yards, 12 TDs and two INTs, and a 120.2 NFL passer rating.

Memo to opponent DCs: maybe don’t blitz BA.

“Brennan was poised. The protection was strong. Our plan was solid. He made great decisions, and as you know, he can make every throw,” Mendenhall said. “Regardless of the number of looks, he just was poised, and our receivers and quarterbacks were adjusting at the same time to do the right thing, and then when our players had the ball in their hands, they secured it well, and I think they did a really nice job. That usually comes through preparation. So I just was really impressed.”

Story by Chris Graham