UVa. rolls to big win in opener

Two years ago, William and Mary upset a favored Virginia team in Scott Stadium and in the process hastened the exit of long-time coach Al Groh.

Saturday night was nothing like that game two years ago.

Kevin Parks ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns, Michael Rocco threw for 174 yards in his debut, and the UVa. defense harrassed the Tribe offense all night long as the Cavaliers posted a surprisingly easy 40-3 win.

The ‘Hoos came into the game as just seven and a half point favorites, and some thought that was generous given the 26-14 thumping William and Mary put on Virginia in 2009 in the season opener to what became a 3-9 campaign for Virginia that sent Groh to the showers.

That game hung over this one all week as Mike London prepared his team for this year’s season opener.

“We prepared really hard for this game. Two years ago we were lackadaisical, and we weren’t going to take this game lightly,” senior cornerback Chase Minnifield said.

It seemed for a while into this one that the Cavs would have yet another tough one on their hands. UVa. led 3-0 after one quarter before extending the lead in the second on Parks’ first touchdown run and a 48-yard field goal by Robert Randolph on the final play of the half that made it 13-0 Virginia heading into the break.

UVa. broke it open in the third with a Parks one-yard scoring run capping a 10-play, 97-yard drive and then another Parks TD, this one from 26 yards out, that made it 27-0 Virginia with 4:25 to go in the third.

Randolph added two more field goals to close out a perfect 4-for-4 night, and Clifton Richardson scored on a 9-yard run to make it 40-0 Virginia.

William and Mary avoided the shutout with a Drake Kuhn 34-yard field goal with 4:34 left in the fourth.

“I think we played hard. We didn’t get a win out of it but we saw what it takes. I thought our guys played extremely hard. I was encouraged by that,” W&M coach Jimmye Laycock said.

Tribe starting quarterback Mike Paulus, a North Carolina transfer, had an inauspicious debut, going 5-for-22 for just 35 yards before being lifted in the second half.

William and Mary could muster just 169 yards of total offense on the night. Virginia rolled up 496 yards of offense on 83 plays from scrimmage.

“They played hard, and they practice like we have something to prove, and we do,” London said. “This whole team has something to prove. Game number one is over and now we’re looking forward to game number two.”

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