Inside the Numbers: About the ugliest win you will see at UVA

UVA footballThe numbers don’t look like they add up to a UVA football win. And then you factor in that the ‘Hoos were playing a Top 15 team.

How?

Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins threw three first-half interceptions, and punter Lester Coleman had a 17-yard shank in the first half.

But Bryce Hall ran down Travis Homer on what looked like was going to be an 85-yard TD run, and the UVA D held Miami to a field goal.

A 47-yard Brian Delaney field goal on the final play of the half left UVA with a 13-6 lead in what should have been a 10-10 game.

Virginia had a 16-play, eight and a half minute drive in the second half that ended up producing just a field goal.

Then after a Juan Thornhill interception midway through the fourth quarter, offensive coordinator Robert Anae called two pass plays that resulted in incompletions, leaving between a minute twenty and a minute thirty on the clock.

Miami scored with 3:04 to go, and a roughing-the-kicker penalty on the extra point put the ensuing kickoff at midfield, persuading UM coach Mark Richt to try an onside kick.

Which didn’t work, spectacularly. See, Miami couldn’t stand prosperity, either.

When Perkins was chucking the ball all over the field in the first half, Miami starting QB N’Kosi Perry was throwing two INTs on his six passes before getting pulled for Malik Rosier, who snuffed out a promising third-quarter ‘Canes drive with the Thornhill pick.

Then, later, the onside kick that didn’t go 10 yards, popped into the air to UVA tight end Evan Butts, after the Miami players in the vicinity had gone upfield past Butts, giving him open field enough to return the ball inside the Miami 30.

And then: a personal foul on what would have been a third-down stop that gave UVA a fresh set of downs.

And then: a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a 29-yard field-goal try with 30 seconds left that gift-wrapped the endgame to the ‘Hoos.

That one was ugly. Miami outgained Virginia 339-231, and never led.

Perkins was picked three times, sacked four times, but he was key on the long drive that led to Virginia’s only three points in the second half.

Credit to Perkins for keeping his head up after that awful first half.

Credit to Bryce Hall for running down Travis Homer. The four-point swing there was the difference in the ballgame.

Any team can win when they play their A game, when they’re hitting on all cylinders.

Virginia got a win over a Top 15 team while getting dominated in the stats.

Winning ugly never looked so pretty.

Column by Chris Graham

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