UVA Football: O-line shines at North Carolina, but work still to do

uva footballThe UVA offense, maligned, deservedly so, most of the 2019 season, had a breakout performance in the 38-31 win at UNC last weekend.

The ‘Hoos gained 517 yards, with quarterback Bryce Perkins throwing for 378 yards and three touchdowns, completing 30 of his 39 pass attempts.

Big game, efficient game. Perkins, again, deservedly so, is getting plaudits from all over for his part in it.

How much of it was the offensive line that has been under fire from all corners?

“Bryce had a lot of time and appropriate time to throw and deliver the ball effectively. He was not under duress consistently. When he was, he scrambled effectively and delivered the ball more appropriately on time or eluded pressure,” coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday.

Perkins had seemed to be a bit shell-shocked dating back to the Notre Dame game in Week 4, when he was sacked eight times in a 35-20 loss.

Since that one, Perkins had a tendency to pull the ball down early into his reads, often after his first read, on dropbacks, allowing opposing defenses to key on UVA receivers with press coverage.

He seemed to be continuing that trend early in Chapel Hill, but things started clicking on UVA’s second drive, a 13-play, 70-yard march that ended with a Perkins 1-yard TD run, and on which the QB was 5-for-7 passing for 65 yards, and ran four times – all designed runs.

The most scintillating play of the night was easily the Perkins 65-yard scramble on the first drive of the second half, but by and large, the offense moved on designed runs and pass plays where Perkins had time, and receivers thus had time to get open against tight coverage.

Mendenhall’s conclusion: “It was just a nice step in the right direction, kind of not concluding, but along the way of developing our offense and it was really nice to win a football game that way.”

Story by Chris Graham



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