Saturday, September 24, 2005

Virginia Gets its Groove Back 38-7

Two years ago, Virginia started their season against Duke and won 28-0. It was a complete man-handling of the undersized Blue Devils, their was only one minor problem: Matt Schaub was hurt in the first series and did not return for a month. His absence cost the Wahoos a game against South Carolina. Last Saturday Virginia had an impressive outing against Duke yet again, this time winning 38-7. Their was one minor problem: The All-American offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson watched most of the game in street clothes. A knee sprain had the fans worried, and some of the players too. This injury though might be different. It could just have been the wake up call Virginia needed.

The first half offensively for Virginia was unimpressive. Lundy's return was mired by the fact that he had nowhere to go most of the time. Hagans looked shaky to start out and it was on a botched play where Hagans went for broke that Ferguson went down. The first half ended with Virginia owning a 10-0 lead, but Duke had seem to have taken alot of the wind out of the sails of the Virginia ball club. The second half turned around the momentum and maybe the season for the Virginia Cavaliers.

Virginia scored 21 points in the third quarter, more than double their output in the first half. The defense stepped up with two key interceptions, putting Marques Hagans & company in great field position. Hagans would end the day with an impressive stat line:12-20, 169 yards and 4 TDs but perhaps the biggest stat was 0 turnovers. After 3 interceptions against Syracuse many began to worry about the versatile QB, this performance shows that when he is on he can play against any defense in the nation. His 46-yard bomb to TE Tom Santi helped energize the team and the crowd and start push towards a solid 38-7 victory.

Now obviously, Cavalier fans shouldn't be going crazy yet. This is still Duke, the regular in the ACC cellar. Their secondary is pretty awful, so Hagans should have been able to have a solid game. Let's also not forget about Ferguson, nevertheless there are certain positives.

One, Virginia caused 4 turnovers. A welcome change to usually giving them up.

Two, Virginia was tough. Alright so Duke is used to being man-handled, we needed to do it to someone. It took three games, but we finally have.

Three, with injuries the team responded. With one of our best players out Virginia didn't get worse, they got better. This mental toughness is huge and will be needed when the Cavaliers roll into College Park this Saturday.

P.S. If Ahmad Brooks, Brian Barthalames and D'Brickashaw Fergsuon all came too, that'd be a plus.


Post a Comment

<< Home