Cavaliers offense struggles without Armstrong; UVA falls 28-3 against No. 7 Notre Dame

Brennan Armstrong missed the game against No. 7 Notre Dame due to injury.
Brennan Armstrong missed the game against No. 7 Notre Dame due to injury.(wvir)
Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 2:27 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia offense was held to its lowest point total in four years, as the Cavaliers fell 28-3 against No. 7 Notre Dame on Saturday night at Scott Stadium.

UVA played the game without quarterback Brennan Armstrong, who is still recovering from a rib injury he suffered in the loss at BYU on Oct. 30th.

Jay Woolfolk got the start at QB for Virginia against Notre Dame, and became the first true freshman to start a game at QB for the ‘Hoos since 1977 (Bryan Shumock).

Woolfolk completed 18-of-33 passes for 196 yards and two interceptions.

The 196 yards is a program record for a true freshman, and the Cavaliers were complimentary of the rookie’s performance.

Senior offensive lineman Bobby Haskins says, “I though Jay did a great job of making quick decisions when things weren’t there, and running the football.  I think he did a really great jobs of being decisive for us, and taking the throws, taking the shots when we had them, and tucking it down, and getting hard yards, when he needed to.”

“I think he did pretty well,” says senior football player Keytaon Thompson. “He didn’t get rattled.  He made some great plays.  I don’t think we did a good enough got at receiver, or as an offense, as a whole, to help him out, and take the pressure off Jay.”

Thompson had a game-high nine receptions for 110 yards.

The Virginia offense only ran six plays in the 1st quarter, gaining a total of 9 yards.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “With the looks and disguises they were providing, all of that was just more than an introductory level course for a first-time starting quarterback. It was more of a masters course, and just a little too much for the circumstances.”

Notre Dame took advantage of a short field to get on the board first, and they added two more scores in the 2nd quarter to push the lead to 21-0 at halftime.

Woolfolk engineered UVA’s only scoring drive of the game in the fourth quarter, when Brendan Farrell kicked a 34 yard field goal.

The Wahoos got into the Red Zone in the final minute of the game, but they were unable to capitalize, as a pass from Woolfolk went off the fingertips of Thompson, and was intercepted in the endzone.

Mendenhall says, “You never know until you play a game, with a new quarterback, and a new chemistry, and that’s really what we had.  So we have a different data point now, which will make us more effective for the next time.”

Virginia (6-4, 4-2 ACC) will be back in action next Saturday at No. 25 Pitt.

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