UVA’s Benkert, Schaub, Zaccheaus open NFL preseason

uva footballIt was UVA quarterback night in the opener to the NFL preseason.

Kurt Benkert threw for 185 yards and a touchdown, in relief of Matt Schaub, who got the start in place of Atlanta starter Matt Ryan, in a 14-10 loss to Denver.

Schaub, a 2004 UVA alum and 15-year NFL veteran, didn’t look so good, completing just four of his 14 pass attempts for 10 yards.

Benkert, in his second season in Atlanta, after spending the 2018 season on the Falcons’ practice squad, looked solid, leading the Falcons to both their scores, a 1-yard TD pass to Brian Hill to conclude an eight-play, 61-yard two-minute drill in the closing moments of the first half, and a 27-yard Giorgio Tavecchio field goal at the end of a 12-play, 56-yard third quarter drive that gave Atlanta a 10-7 lead.

Schaub, returning to the game in the fourth quarter, had a pass intended for 2019 UVA alum Olamide Zaccheaus intercepted at the Atlanta 38, setting up the game-winning Broncos drive, the winning points coming on a 15-yard TD pass from Brett Rypien to Juwann Winfree with 1:26 to go.

Zaccheaus, UVA’s all-time leading receiver, had two catches for 31 yards.

Story by Chris Graham

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