Big Play Offense leads to record-setting performance in UVA victory

Brennan Armstrong flips the ball forward to Keytaon Thompson
Brennan Armstrong flips the ball forward to Keytaon Thompson(wvir)
Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 6:10 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team posted its highest-point total of the season on Saturday, as the Cavaliers beat Abilene Christian 55-15 at Scott Stadium.

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong passed for a career-high 383-yards and four touchdowns.

It was a big play offense for the ‘Hoos, and Armstrong became the first player in program history to throw three passes of more than 50-yards in a single game.

“Those long passes are huge,” says Armstrong. “Huge momentum shift in the games, whenever they come up.  Tonight, they were fun.  We had a 30 second drive to get points, going into half, and Lavel’s big play, and then Ra’Shaun’s big play, and it’s just fun for the team when those things happen.”

One of those big plays came on a pass that traveled about six inches through the air.

From the shotgun position, Armstrong flipped the ball forward to Keytaon Thompson, and the junior took it to the house.

Thompson has played a lot of positions for the ‘Hoos this season, but he still thinks like a quarterback.

“Early in the week, me, and B (Armstrong), and coach (Jason) Beck talked about it,” says Thompson. “He asked if I would rather receive a handoff, or a pitch, and me and B, both being quarterbacks, we both decided for it to be a pitch, so it would be a reception, and add some passing yards.”

The pass went for 56-yards and a touchdown.

But not all the plays worked.

There were a lot of first-time players on the field at the end of the game, and some confusion with the play call, led to an amusing safety.

“We’re trying to run out the clock, and we end up getting a double pass called out of our own end zone,” Bronco Mendenhall said, with a laugh. “So it’s complete accident. It was just like, what the crap just happened? We’re trying to substitute different players in, and got off on the script by a line. It shows you what being off one line can do, maybe in your life, but also in a football game, where you can go from running out the clock, to a double pass.”

And while it was a mistake, the Keystone Cops routine did set the stage for one, last, big play.

“I guess if that didn’t happen then D’Sean Perry doesn’t have a chance to run an interception back for a touchdown,” says Mendenhall. “So, yeah, there’s a silver lining and great moment for him.”

Virginia will be back in action next Saturday at Florida State.

Kickoff is set for eight o’clock.

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