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Report Card: Grading out UVA’s 38-20 win over Duke in opener

Lavel Davis Jr.
Lavel Davis Jr. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Offense overall: A-minus

Totals: 450 yards, 5.4 yards per play.

Areas to improve: three turnovers, third downs (6-of-17).

Passing game: B-plus

I’d already presaged this in an earlier analysis. Can’t go back.

I conceded to grading Brennan Armstrong’s 24-for-45, 269-yard effort on the curve.

Armstrong has plenty to work on.

Most importantly: mechanics.

Armstrong threw too much off his back foot Saturday.

He has an obviously strong arm.

Just, it’s not that strong.

Needs to step into his throws.

And that third quarter INT inside the UVA 20: not sure what the hell that was.

He was 8-of-9 in the fourth quarter, and he moved the chains with his feet.

Clemson is looming.

He can’t play the way he did this past Saturday next Saturday.

Run game: A

The surprise here is that I stopped at A.

UVA ran for 188 yards on 37 carries.

Going in, it would have seemed that the O line, returning more cumulative starts than any other O line in Power 5, would be a strength.

Checked out.

The backs averaged 5.5 yards a carry.

Armstrong averaged 7.0, accounting for sack yardage.

O line: A

Armstrong was sacked once.

Duke didn’t have a QB hurry.

Played to expectations.

Defense overall: B-plus

Charles Snowden
Charles Snowden. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

Totals: 342 yards, 4.4 yards per play.

Area to improve: limiting big plays.

Run defense: A

Duke ran for 78 yards on 33 carries. (Accounting for sack yardage. Note to the NCAA: fix this.)

By and large, UVA rendered Duke one-dimensional on offense.

Pass defense: B

Good, great: five INTs.

Awful: the two passing TDs, both on blown coverages (one by Joey Blount, the other Zane Zandier).

Special teams: B-minus

Tavares Kelly fumbled the opening kickoff, leading to a Duke field goal.

Punter Nash Griffin averaged 43.9 yards, missed a coffin corner for a touchback.

Placekicker Brian Delaney was good from 32 in the second quarter.

The Fourth Side: incomplete

I wasn’t there. (Not my choice.)

Can’t judge how sideline energy contributed.

Story by Chris Graham

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