Virginia is finally in the win column in 2023, rallying from an early 13-3 deficit to post a 27-13 win over William & Mary on Saturday in front of 38,000 and change in Scott Stadium.
The offense finally got a run game going, going over 200 yards for the first time this season, and QB Tony Muskett was a very efficient 17-of-26 through the air, for 232 yards, two TDs and one INT.
That one INT, for a moment, appeared as if it might prove costly. A play after an apparent Perris Jones TD run was called back because of an illegal block, Muskett was picked off in the end zone by the Tribe’s Malcolm Spencer.
Virginia (1-5, 0-2 ACC) was up 20-13 in the third quarter at that point.
W&M (4-2) would drive to the UVA 8, and had a fourth-and-two there, but the Cavaliers’ D snuffed out the Martin Lucas run, dropping the back for a two-yard loss for the turnover on downs.
It was still a one-score game into the fourth quarter, but UVA would get some breathing room.
One play after Muskett went to the sidelines with an apparent injury to his left shoulder, the shoulder that he injured in the Week 1 loss that forced him to miss the next three games, Muskett returned to connect with Malik Washington on a 27-yard TD pass play that made the score 27-13 four minutes into the fourth quarter.
- Virginia rallies from early 13-3 deficit, gets first W of 2023, 27-13 over William & Mary
- Five observations from Virginia’s 27-13 win over William & Mary on Saturday
- Muskett gets back up off the deck, throws game-clinching TD after shoulder injury
- Virginia O line, finally, clears way for ‘Hoos to establish a ground game
The Tribe would threaten once more, but a fourth-down play on the edge of the red zone with 4:45 left came up a half-yard short.
The UVA offense gained a season-high 453 yards, including 221 yards on the ground, with Jones going for a career-high 134 yards on 12 attempts, and Kobe Pace adding 83 yards on 20 carries.
Washington, already the leading receiver in the ACC in both catches (37) and receiving yards (555), had another big day, with seven catches (on 10 target) for 112 yards.
Malachi Fields, the second-leading receiver in the conference coming in (27 catches), had four catches (on five targets) for 63 yards and a TD, a 26-yard scoring play with seven seconds left in the first half that put Virginia on top to stay.
The ‘Hoos defense held W&M to 219 total yards. Tribe QB Darius Wilson was 14-of-18 passing, but for just 72 yards.
Wilson did run for 74 yards on 13 attempts, but William & Mary was kept off the scoreboard the rest of the way after the 1-yard TD run on a fourth-and-goal play three minutes into the second quarter put the Tribe up 13-3.
True freshman linebacker Kam Robinson led Virginia with 12 tackles.