UVa Football Beats William & Mary 28-10 in Season Opener

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Kurt Benkert had three TD passes Kurt Benkert had three TD passes
UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall

The Virginia football team won its season opener for the first time since 2013, as the Cavaliers defeated William & Mary 28-10 at Scott Stadium on Saturday.

Kurt Benkert completed 27-of-39 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.

The senior quarterback is the first UVa QB to start back-to-back season openers since 2012, and just the second since 2005.

Benkert completed passes to nine different receivers in the game.

The Wahoos scored one touchdown in all four quarters of the game against the Tribe.

Jordan Ellis tallied the first points of the season on a 1-yard TD run in the 1st quarter, and Andre Levrone scored on a 34-yard reception in the 2nd.

Former Orange County High School star Kris Hooper kicked a 41-yard field goal to give William & Mary its first points of the game, but the Cavaliers pulled away with TD passes to Olamide Zaccheaus and Ellis in the 2nd half.

Virginia out-gained the Tribe 354-240 total yards.

The 'Hoos did not have a turnover against the Tribe, marking the first time they did not turn the ball over at least once since October 12th of 2013, a span of 42 consecutive games.

"That's a lot of Virginia football games, and that's not to be taken lightly," says head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "We've emphasized that at a really high level."

The players say there has been a change in attitude from past seasons at Virginia.

"A lot of times it would been like, 'Whoa is me. UVa football, we're about to blow this,'" says senior linebacker Micah Kiser.  "There was none of that.  We stuck with each other, stuck together, and we got a win."

Benkert says, "At the point where we missed the touchdown pass that I should have thrown to Andre, and they scored the touchdown to make it 21-10, I think that's where we really felt the difference."

William Monroe alum Mark Williamson made his second-career appearance in a college game, as the sophomore saw a lot of action on the William & Mary offensive line due to injury.

Williamson says, "I had another veteran besides me, Connor Hilland, who helped me out tremendously throughout the game. Also, anything I did wrong on I could always look back on film and learn from it."

Western Albemarle alum Daniel Kuzjak had two catches for 21 yards for the Tribe.

Virginia (1-0) will be back in action at home against Indiana next Saturday.