I have no idea what to write about UVA’s 37-7 loss to Pitt.
There’s plenty of low-hanging fruit – the two pick-sixes to open the game, the 144 yards of total offense for the Cavaliers.
There have been lower moments in Virginia Football history, even recent Virginia Football history.
The 56-14 home loss to Boise State in Mike London’s last season, 2015, comes to mind.
Anything from Bronco Mendenhall’s first season, 2016, which honestly should have gone on London’s career won-loss mark.
The 2017 Military Bowl was a low moment.
Insert any bad memory from a game involving Virginia Tech here.
Today is right down there with them.
It was 14-0 Pitt 16 seconds into the game. The crowd cheered Virginia’s third play from scrimmage, a no-gain run by Mike Hollins, simply because it wasn’t another pick-six.
It was 21-0 before the midway point of the first quarter, 28-0 at the end of one.
There was nothing at all redeeming basically from those first two plays from scrimmage on.
A good number of the supposed 36,000-plus on hand hadn’t even gotten to their seats, and the game was already over.
Brennan Armstrong was sacked eight times.
Virginia had a net -8 yards rushing, because of the sacks.
Sack-adjusted: try 61 yards rushing.
Through the air, Armstrong was 17-of-33 for 152 yards and three touchdowns – one to us, the two to them.
The defense put up what you’d want to think are nice counting numbers – Pitt had 397 yards of total offense, a smidge below their season average (401.4 yards).
But then, the Pitt offense didn’t take its first snap until the score was already 14-0 in the Panthers’ favor.
Kedon Slovis didn’t get sacked once. The stats tell me that the Virginia D had exactly two QB hurries.
There was nothing in the form of duress for him, for tailback Israel Abanikanda, who had a nice, easy 121 yards on 24 carries.
I take the earlier statement about there being nothing redeeming for the Virginia side back, because there was one thing, and only one thing: Malachi Fields.
The 6’4”, 214-pound sophomore had five catches on seven targets for 58 yards, including a nice 9-yard TD catch on a perfectly-thrown fade ball from Armstrong in the third quarter.
Fields looked as he’d been advertised the past two years, like a guy who can be a go-to guy at wideout, with size, speed, great hands, nice route-running ability.
Other than Fields, today was an utter embarrassment for Virginia Football, which drops to 3-7 on the season, with a home game against a Coastal Carolina team that I expect will be favored next Saturday, and a finale at Virginia Tech, which is now 2-8, and almost certainly will be looking at the game with the rival as a chance to salvage something from Brent Pry’s otherwise forgettable first season in Blacksburg.
Tony Elliott’s first season in Charlottesville, meanwhile, has become one of disillusionment and increasing disinterest from a fan base that sees this act as part of a couple-decade-long tragicomedy, and is tired of being asked to pay for the privilege.
Can’t blame ‘em.