Saturday’s game will air live on ACC Regional Sports Networks and locally in Virginia on MASN2. A complete list of affiliates carrying the game can be found here. The matchup will be available on the ESPN App/ESPN.com and is subject to blackout.
The contest can be heard on Virginia Sports Radio Networks around the Commonwealth and live on VirginiaSports.com. A list of stations can be found here. Fans can follow along via live stats and the Virginia Mobile app and get in-game updates on the team’s official twitter account, @UVAFootball.
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Whatever we get in terms of the thousands that are expected for the 2021 season opener Saturday night could very well be culture shock if you’re not ready for it.
- Game Notes: UVA opens 2021 football season at home vs. W&M
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- Nick Grant back for sixth season to take care of ‘unfinished business’
Nick Grant was on the field a lot in 2020, out of necessity, as Virginia struggled with numerous injuries in the secondary.
AFP editor Chris Graham will provide commentary and analysis live in-game. Click refresh to get the latest.
UVA takes the early lead
Billy Kemp IV set up Virginia nicely on its first offensive possession with a 55-yard punt return, but the offense went three-and-out from a first-and-10 at the W&M 25.
Justin Duenkel was good from 32 yards to put UVA up 3-0.
Brennan Armstrong made a poor read on the third-and-eight play, throwing into double coverage on a slant that would have been short of first-down yardage anyway.
UVA’s second offensive possession got to the edge of the red zone, before the inventiveness promised in the preseason got to be a little too much.
A wildcat snap on first down led to a seven-yard loss on a play that was probably supposed to be an option pass from Armstrong, who had been lined up at wideout.
Then on third-and-three, Keytaon Thompson got stuffed for a yard on another wildcat playl
And on fourth down: Ira Armstead was stopped for no gain on, you guessed it, another wildcat play.
Trick plays: Not working
Another odd series in plus territory. After UVA got to the W&M 31, with a second-and-five, it was: pop pass to reserve QB Jacob Rodriguez, dropped; short run by Rodriguez; failed fourth-down run by Thompson.
For all the talk of the running backs being the best here since Bronco’s arrival, they have a grand total of two carries so far.
Passing game opens up
Armstrong had all day on his third-and-five pass, and found on his third read Dontayvion Wicks for 23 yards. On the next play, Armstrong connected with Wicks, who ran a nice double-move, for 20 yards, to the W&M 2.
Armstrong then scored on an option run.
Trickery finally (!) works
Thompson went for 40 on a third-and-one wildcat to get UVA in the red zone. Then on third down, Armstrong connected with Ra’Shaun Henry, who we’d been told had had a great spring, on a perfectly timed fade into the back corner for the TD.
UVA leads 17-0 just before the half.
First half wrap
UVA goes into the locker room up 17-0, but it didn’t feel that way for much of the first 30 minutes.
Armstrong was 9-for-17 for 118 yards passing and a TD, and added a TD on the ground.
One thing not to like: 17 rushing attempts, only five of them by actual running backs.
Mike London just happened
London ran the let’s hope UVA jumps offsides on fourth-and-two play at his 14, and UVA didn’t jump offsides, so London, instead of trying to call a timeout with a second on the play clock, took the delay of game penalty.
His kicker, Ethan Chang, who had already missed badly from 42, now had to kick from 36.
The low line drive was blocked by Nick Grant.
But London still has his three timeouts left.
Nice deep ball
BA just hit Demick Starling on a 65-yard catch and run. The ball, and I’m being overly critical here, may have been a little underthrown, but Starling adjusted, made the catch, then outran the defenders.
Armstrong had missed Kemp earlier on a deep ball, overthrowing him by a good 10 yards.
So, underthrowing and connecting, is better.
Update: UVA 29, W&M 0
London still has his three timeouts.
Why is BA still in the game with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter?
And throwing passes, and stuff. Not good.