Bryce Perkins: The last play, a year later

Bryce PerkinsThe play call: RPO. Bryce Perkins broke it down for me moment-for-moment at this year’s ACC Kickoff.

“Run, pass. Tight end in the flat. So, read the defender,” said Perkins, who threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns, and added another 112 yards on the ground, a jaw-dropping performance, until that last play.

Yes. That last play.

Virginia Tech had scored on its first possession of OT, but just a field goal. A Virginia TD wins it, and breaks The Streak.

“We were in the pistol. I didn’t jump back far enough to pull it,” Perkins continued.

“I kind of stayed on the running back’s track. When I jumped back and tried to pull it, I was too close to the running back, so I hit him, while I was trying to pull and throw. The ball came out, and then I tried to reach for it, and I got hit, and they got it, and that was all she wrote.”

Perkins hung his head.

He feels that had he done what he was supposed to do, the ball gets out in the flat, the ‘Hoos score, game over.

“As a player and competitor, it may not always be like this, but when it happened, I looked at myself like I lost the game, like it was the last play that lost the game,” Perkins said. “I always take that to heart, because it was like, man, no matter what you did leading up to that point, the last play, if it was on you, and then replaying all the things that could have happened, just replaying it, it can make you sick.”

***

Fast forward from a summer afternoon in Charlotte to an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving Week Monday in Charlottesville.

A reporter asked UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall if he’s talked to Perkins about the play, the moment, the game, the opportunity ahead.

Short answer: no.

“I think it can be a catalyst for the best preparation possible,” Mendenhall said. “That takes maturity and perspective to do that, otherwise it can be that, I don’t know, vengeance or overcoming being the primary thing. All the significant either victories or losses, man, they embed within kind of your fiber and they say. You learn from all of those things.

“The key is then, in a case like the overtime fumble a year ago, is acknowledging that and using that simply to prepare as diligently as possible from that point to do your best to improve,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall then stressed what should be obvious: the loss wasn’t due to that one play.

“It’s the same for the coach, as the play call. It’s the same for me in game management, right? It’s all that,” Mendenhall said. “That one play certainly received all the attention, because that’s how the game ended. I think we have to acknowledge that was maybe the most visible of many decisions and things along the way that could have possibly had a similar impact or did.”

Story by Chris Graham



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

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.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.