Cavaliers fall 40-23 at Wake Forest; Drop to 1-3 on the season

Cavaliers fall 40-23 at Wake Forest; Drop to 1-3 on the season
Bronco Mendenhall at Pitt

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team lost its third game in a row on Saturday, as the Cavaliers fell 40-23 at Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game, and they took control of a close contest with two quick touchdowns in the 4th quarter.

UVA was trailing by three early in the 4th, when Brian Delaney kicked a 42 yard field goal to tie the game at 23-23.

Wake Forest responded with touchdown on its next possession, as Kenneth Walker III rushed 75 yards for a TD on the first play of the series.

The Wahoos fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Walker scored four plays later, which gave the Demon Deacons 14 points in less than two minutes of game time.

UVA was unable to answer, and they lost their third game in a row.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “Those three plays back-to-back-to-back, changed the outcome. Up until then, yeah, it was more what we had hoped, more what we planned for, and more we had expected in managing the game, and expecting whoever basically is driving at the end of the game would win, or not win.”

Senior cornerback Nick Grant says, “We had a lot better energy, a lot better focus this week. We just have to match that with our execution, and give us the best chance to win each game.”

Virginia scored in the first quarter for the first time this season, as a 32-yard Delaney field goal cut the deficit to 14-3.

The Cavaliers added a touchdown on the 2nd quarter, with freshman QB Ira Armstead rushing 4-yards for the first TD of his college career.

UVA used three quarterbacks in the game, with Lindell Stone, Keytaon Thompson, and Armstead rotating in and out.

Mendenhall says, “I thought that gave us the best chance to move the football, and lead our team. Each has a different skill set. We’re looking for complete play at quarterback, after losing Brennan [Armstrong]. And so we tried to innovate, and use them in a manner that would be helpful to us.”

Stone complete 24-of-42 passes for 193 yards and two interceptions.

Thompson carried the ball ten times, for a team-high 71 yards.

Armstead rushed for 46 yards and a touchdown, and also completed 1-of-3 passes.

Junior running back Wayne Taulapapa says, “I think we used our three QB’s to the best of their abilities, and their strengths, which I thought was a great thing. We just have to do a lot more executing, when it comes down to it.”

“We just have to keep our foot on the gas pedal, I think," says senior offensive lineman Chris Glaser. "We finally score in the first quarter, we haven’t done that all season. Even though it was only three points, it wasn’t enough. When we get on the road, we have to keep going and going, and doing the stuff that works for us.”

UVA rushed for 218 yards as a team, including 68 yards and a touchdown from Taulapapa.

Walker carried the ball 23 times for 128 yards and three TD’s for Wake Forest.

“It starts with practice,” says sophomore linebacker Nick Jackson. "We have to come out Monday with a great practice, and set the tone for the week. Build on that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, got to win the week, all the way up to Saturday.”

Virginia will be back in action next Saturday at No. 13 Miami, with the kickoff scheduled for eight o’clock.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.