Check back every Wednesday for the Cavaliers Report to get all the biggest Virginia headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.
Virginia 1-2, (0-0) in the ACC
In the news
Tough T.J.: Wide receiver T.J. Thorpe was a surprise addition to the Cavaliers lineup on Saturday against WIllim & Mary. Thorpe, a transfer from the University of North Carolina, suffered a broken collarbone in preseason camp but his return Saturday comes just five weeks after he sustained the injury.
Thorpe had no catches on Saturday, but the fact that he got reps is important. The fifth-year senior has breakaway speed that can make him a dangerous deep threat for the Cavs. Most importantly, he should be able to take some defensive attention away from Canaan Severin who is quickly establishing himself as one of the ACC's top offensive weapons.
A record day for Lambert: Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert set the NCAA record for completion percentage in a single game on Saturday in the Bulldogs' win over South Carolina. He completed 24 of 25 passes for a completion percentage of 96 percent.
Lambert, of course, was Virginia's starting quarterback last season who transferred after losing the starting job to Matt Johns in spring practice.
What does this say about Virginia? Nothing we didn't already know. Lambert was able to set this record because he has more talent around him in Athens than he had in Charlottesville and because Georgia's rush attack, led by Nick Chubb, allows more room for the pass attack.
Lambert is still just as inconsistent as he was at UVa. The week before this performance, he completed only 11 of 21 passes for 116 yards against Vanderbilt. The talent around Lambert just allows for higher highs when he plays well. Many will take it as an indictment of Mike London and his staff and if you want to argue that the coaches did not put Lambert into a position to succeed, there's an argument to be made there, but in my opinion it says far more about the talent level of both teams than it does about the coaching.
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Tough schedule: Have you noticed how difficult Virginia's schedule is this season? It's not just this season, as David Teel of the Daily Press notes. For the last four seasons, no team in the ACC, Big Ten or SEC has played as as many non-conference games against AP top 25 opponents from 2012 to 2015 as Virginia.
This kind of scheduling provides fans with intriguing, interesting games which is more than you can say for a program like Baylor who seemingly goes out of their way to schedule only cupcakes. For a team that hasn't made a bowl game since the 2011 season, however, the difficult scheduling has clearly taken its toll on Virginia.
If Virginia loses to Boise State on Friday, they will enter conference play at 1-3 which would require them to win five ACC games in order to reach the six wins required for a bowl game. While no one wants to see four patsies to start the season, it would be fair to say a bowl game would mean more for UVa than a regular season trip to UCLA did.
The best scheduling model is likely somewhere in between the Baylor model and what we see from Virginia.
Last week's game: 35-29 win over William & Mary
Virginia finally earned their first win of the season, but William & Mary certainly did not make things easy. The Tribe jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the 2nd quarter and just when it looked like the Cavaliers had pulled away with a 15-point lead in the 3rd, W&M pulled to within 6 and had the ball with a chance to take the lead late in the 4th.
Neither the offense nor the defense played as well for Virginia as they did the week before against Notre Dame, but facing an FCS opponent in between a matchup with the Irish and Boise State is a clear trap game. No need to react too much to anything that happened here.
The important thing is that Virginia got the win.
Next game vs. Boise State, Fri. 8:00 p.m. ET
Virginia will host the Boise State Broncos on Friday night for the first-ever matchup between the two schools.
Despite the program's struggles over the past few years, Virginia has managed notable September wins in each of the past three seasons with Penn State in 2012, BYU in 2013 and Louisville in 2014. This represents UVa's last, and best chance at continuing that trend this season.
The problem is Boise State is not your typical big-name program.
The Broncos have made a living on beating Power 5 teams and this year is no different as they defeated Washington to start the season. They are also one miraculous Hail Mary away from coming into this game 3-0 and ranked. This is not a team that is going to be caught by surprise or will look past a team like Virginia.
Having said that, Boise State comes into Charlottesville without their starting quarterback, Ryan Finley, who suffered a broken ankle in last week's win over Idaho State. Head coach Bryan Harsin said he expects both backup quarterbacks Brett Rypien and Thomas Stuart to play, but has not named a starter leaving Virginia to prepare for two very different players.
Stuart, a redshirt sophomore, came on in relief of Finley last week, completing 9 of 13 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 46 yards. He is considered a dual-threat quarterback. Rypien is a true freshman and more of a pocket passer. He also played last week when the game was well in hand, completing 8 of 9 passes for 126 yards with the one incompletion coming off a broken play in which he threw the ball away.
Preparing for two quarterbacks with two different styles will be a challenge for a Virginia defense that has allowed an average of 444.7 yards per game in the early season and is one of only two FBS teams without a takeaway this season. And of course, let's not write off a true freshman quarterback considering what Josh Rosen of UCLA was able to do in the season opener.
While Boise has a big question mark on offense, they don't defensively and have looked very stout in the early season. The Broncos are allowing only 16 points and 286 yards per game. This unit is the definite strength of the team and the real key to the game for the Cavaliers regardless of who plays quarterback for the Broncos.
The Cavaliers are going to struggle to run the ball as effectively as Steve Fairchild likes. Virginia will need an offensive game plan similar to the one they utilized against Notre Dame if they hope to win this. The good news is that Thorpe's return gives Virginia that extra weapon they will need to have a chance against a defense as strong as Boise State's.
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