CHARLOTTESVILLE ‒ The Virginia Cavaliers defeated the William and Mary Tribe 43-0 this Saturday night after a slow start in Scott Stadium. After working off some clear rust in the first half of the game, the Cavaliers were able to handily defeat the Tribe in front of a sea of orange fans ecstatic to be back after a near two-year absence.
The Cavaliers were the clear favorite in this game, but with three out of their first four drives ending with only three points, the offense was not living up to early expectations. Luckily for the Bronco Mendenhall-led team, the defense started strong, shutting out the Tribe completely and holding them to 183 yards of total offense on the night. Joey Blount was everywhere on the field and looked as good as ever in his return from an injury. Noah Taylor, Nick Jackson, and Nick Grant were other defensive standouts for the Hoos in this dominant defensive performance.
Unlike the defense, the offense started off slowly but seemed to settle down and get in a rhythm in the second quarter and into the second half. The story of the game for the offense was the success of Brennan Armstrong. After a rusty first quarter and a half overthrowing receivers, Armstrong was able to get in a groove and take the Cavaliers to a 17-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The second half was really where Virginia shone brightest, outscoring the Tribe 26-0 in the last two-quarters of play. It was an all-around team effort on offense for Virginia this half with Armstrong completing passes to nine different receivers and four Cavaliers finding the end zone (Armstrong, Henry, Starling, and Walker Jr.). Other offensive standouts include Keayton Johnson (109 yards of total offense), Dontayvion Wicks (four receptions for 94 yards), Iraken Armstead (five carries for 54 yards), Billy Kemp IV (four receptions for 55 yards), and Wayne Taulapapa (5 carries for 48 yards).
The Virginia Cavaliers were able to quickly recover from a sloppy start and begin their season with an expected, but solid win against William and Mary. The Cavaliers will look to build on this team victory as they take on Illinois next Saturday (9/11) at 11:00 am in Scott Stadium.