Sloppy UVA blows out overmatched William & Mary

uva footballFrom the Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth Department: UVA blew out William & Mary Friday night in front of 45,000 fans, 52-17, and … it could’ve been better.

Bryce Perkins threw two interceptions. Brennan Armstrong threw an interception.

There was a fumbled punt. Brian Delaney missed a field goal.

Virginia got a 100-yard kickoff return TD from Joe Reed, an 85-yard picksix by defensive back Nick Grant.

Perkins connected with Reed on a 40-yard TD pass five minutes in to get the party started, then scored on a nifty 7-yard run later in the first quarter that made it 21-0.

It was 35-3 midway through the second when Perkins was picked off the first time, on a third-and-1, an ill-advised pass intended for Hasise Dubois at the William & Mary 10, the classic example of throwing against your body back to the middle of the field.

You don’t do that.

The second interception, in the third quarter, UVA up 42-3, was similar – late, and over the middle.

Why Perkins was even in the game up 42-3 in the third is a good question, of course.

The Armstrong INT turned into a W&M picksix after Arman Jones returned it 47 yards down the left sideline.

The Gift Horse in the Mouth thing is: some of you remember William & Mary beating UVA in 2009, a stunning defeat that was the beginning of the end of the Al Groh Era.

More of you remember Bronco Mendenhall’s first game at Virginia, a 37-20 loss to another in-state FCS team, Richmond.

Easy blowout wins are not the kind of things to turn your nose up to, even for a program expected to win these games with ease, and actually expected to do a lot more.

And maybe the sloppiness that we saw in the second half will give Mendenhall and his staff something to use as motivation when they get to game prep for Florida State on Monday.

But that’s the thing: Florida State is up next.

They’re not the Vintage Florida State that competes for national titles, but they still recruit Florida State-caliber athletes, even if Willie Taggart hasn’t yet figured out the basics of hydration.

Virginia, committing four turnovers, playing uninspired football from the midpoint of the second quarter on, was still more than good enough to cleanse the sins of the Mike London Era.

That kind of football won’t come close to cutting it next week against FSU.

Story by Chris Graham

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