UVA Football: Grading out the 31-24 win over FSU

uva footballBryce Perkins: A-.

The two first-half interceptions, both of which kept points off the board, at least two field goals, maybe a touchdown and a field goal, make the ceiling for the midterm grade no better than a C.

But, as you remember from your college days, the only grade that counts is the one at the end of the semester.

Perkins and offensive coordinator Robert Anae were at their best in their 16 games together in the final 20:48.

Virginia scored touchdowns on each of its final three possessions.

Perkins over this stretch: 15-of-17 passing, 150 yards, touchdown; the play of the game, a six-yard churn on a fourth-and-two at the FSU 34 to keep a drive alive; and then this sublime two-point conversion.

For the game: 30-of-40 passing, 295 yards, one touchdown pass, those two picks, 56 yards rushing on 10 attempts (adjusted to filter out sack yardage).

Running backs: Gotta go A here.

Wayne Taulapapa scored three touchdowns on the ground, two in the fourth quarter.

Lamont Atkins had two catches, and stepped up to pick up a blitzer to free Perkins on a big pass play on the first TD drive in the first half.

We’ll count Joe Reed for that one 22-yard run on a nice design and execution on a fourth quarter run.

Wideouts: Solid A.

Reed had eight catches on 10 targets, including four on five targets in the fourth quarter, along with that 22-yard run.

Terrell Jana: seven catches on eight targets.

Hasise Dubois: seven catches on seven targets.

Florida State has issues on defense, sure, but they’ve also got studs back there in the secondary, even if they’re not studs who are necessarily coached into doing the right things all the time.

Strong night for the wideouts.

Offensive line: We’ll go B+ here.

The running game averaged a sack-yardage-adjusted 4.3 yards per rush. Perkins was only sacked twice.

I could easily go A- here. I don’t want to be the everybody gets an A prof.

Defensive front seven: Another B+?

I wanted to go B, because it didn’t seem that there was much pressure on FSU QB James Blackman, who was sacked once before the final FSU drive.

Then I look at the run-game numbers. The ‘Noles ran for 95 yards on 29 tries.

I probably should go higher here. Why am I making the big guys mad at me?

Secondary: B.

Fair or not, there were two PIs called on the final drive, one an awful call that extended the drive on a fourth down, the other, on the beknighted Bryce Hall, totally legit, because Hall grabbed and clutched after he was beaten on a route to prevent a touchdown pass.

Hall was also totally fooled on a double move earlier on that final drive, and was saved only because Blackman overthrew a wide-open receiver.

Blackman threw for three touchdowns and 234 yards.

Special teams: C.

Brian Delaney hit a 49-yard field goal, then missed a game-tying extra point in the fourth quarter.

Griffin Nash shanked the hell out of a punt from his end zone to set up a short FSU TD drive.

Billy Kemp fumbled a punt inside his own 10, recovered it, great, but the field-position gaffe contributed to the Nash shank and that FSU TD.

I’m being generous with a C here.

Column by Chris Graham


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