UVA defense struggles in 66-49 loss at #25 BYU

UVA’s Bronco Mendenhall wants all safety precautions taken before restarting football
UVA’s Bronco Mendenhall wants all safety precautions taken before restarting football
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team started its game against #25 BYU at 10:15 PM on Saturday, and finished around 2 AM on Sunday.

The offense scored 49 points, but the ‘Hoos lost the game, as well as their starting quarterback.

Brennan Armstrong left the game against BYU with ten minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, and UVA trailing by Ten 59-49.

The exit came immediately following his second interception of the game, and one play after Armstrong dove for a first down on 3rd & 3, and seemed to be holding his ribs as he got up.

“I don’t know when he got hurt, or if it got hurt while he was throwing,” says UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall. “I don’t know the mechanism, or when. But once he threw that, that’s when he was pointing. He might have been playing with it, I’m not certain.”

Virginia has a bye week coming up next weekend, but if Armstrong is forced to miss any time, Keytaon Thompson has confidence the offense will keep humming.

Thompson says, “I think we have a great quarterback in Jay Woolfolk, and we have a ‘Next Man Up’ mentality. Of course, Brennan is a great quarterback, nation’s leading passer, but I believe in our coaches, and I believe in our players, to find a way to fill that void.”

Brennan Armstrong has 3,557 yards passing this season, which leads the nation.

It’s also the most passing yards in a single season in program history, surpassing the mark of 3,538 Bryce Perkins set in 2019.

Armstrong had four touchdown passes against BYU, as well as two TD runs, but the Cavaliers’ defense allowed the Cougars to gain 734 yards of Total Offense.

Against ranked opponents this season, the UVA defense is giving up an average of 726.5 yards per game, as well as 62.5 points per game.

Junior linebacker Nick Jackson says, “It definitely makes it more difficult. When we can’t get stops on defense, it makes it more difficult for the offense. Matter-of-fact, the game came down just to they got more stops.”

BYU scored a touchdown on its first four possessions on Saturday, and the Virginia defense only forced two punts on 15 possessions.

“Our defense has to get more stops, has to play better, from beginning to end,” says Mendenhall. “That has to happen. Especially when you go on a road, and especially when you play a good team, that just makes it even more critical. We didn’t, and we need to.”

Virginia will host 8th ranked Notre Dame on Nov. 13th.

After that, they have games at Pitt and at home against Virginia Tech.

If they win both of the conference games, the Cavaliers will clinch the ACC Coastal Division Championship.

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