There will be no September upset this year for the Cavaliers as Boise State trampled Virginia 56-14. The Broncos added yet another Power 5 program to their list of notable wins as they took an early lead and ran with it.
Here are five takeaways from the tough loss for Virginia:
Early mistake: The national spotlight was on Charlottesville, the crowd was rocking, the team was pumped and in an instant it all changed. Boise State set the tone from the very first play and they never looked back.
Virginia started on offense after returning the opening kickoff to the 27. Matt Johns dropped back on the first play from scrimmage and was pressured almost immediately. As he was getting pulled down, he tried to throw the ball away but it fell right into the hands of defensive tackle Justin Taimatuia who took it 21 yards untouched into the end zone.
It was one of two interceptions returned for a touchdown by Boise State on the night.
No quarterback likes getting sacked, but it's important for quarterbacks to know when to throw the ball away and when they need to just take the sack. That play gave the Broncos an early lead and really took some of the energy out of the stadium. If you want to pull off an upset at home, you need the crowd.
Johns is not an inexperienced quarterback anymore, he should know better. That was an inexcusable mistake.
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An offensive offense: Virginia had a downright ugly game on offense. They managed only 273 yards of offense and 120 of those yards came on two long scoring plays. Virginia had a whopping 40 yards on the ground for the entire game.
The team's top offensive weapons just were nowhere to be found. Canaan Severin had only 34 receiving yards and Taquan Mizzell had 2 rushing yards.
The Cavaliers really struggled to stay on the field because they had little success on first and second down. Virginia faced 12 3rd-and-longs (eight yards or more) in this game as they continually got behind the chains. They only were able to convert four of them into first downs.
They needed more success on first and second down to give themselves a chance at converting and keeping their offense on the field.
Another freshman QB: A non-conference schedule that includes UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State is about as tough as it gets. You would think that facing two freshman quarterbacks would have given Virginia at least a chance to pull off an upset given the strength of their defense. Instead those two quarterbacks were the ones who torched the Hoos the most.
First there was Josh Rosen at UCLA and on Saturday there was Brett Rypien.
Boise State's starting quarterback Ryan Finley suffered a broken ankle last week giving Rypien only one week to prepare. He was expected to split time with Thomas Stuart, but Stuart only took a handful of naps as Rypien quickly showed he was more than capable of taking over this offense and tearing apart the Virginia secondary.
Rypien finished with 321 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Lopsided turnover margin: The turnover discrepancy for Virginia has gone from a concern to downright ridiculous. The Cavaliers once again failed to collect a single turnover. Now four games into the season, Virginia still has not forced a single takeaway. At some point, you would think they would get one by sheer dumb luck, but it hasn't happened.
This is a problem made worse by their own turnovers. Virginia gave the ball away to Boise State five times in this game, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Turnovers are critical and successful teams are able to force takeaways. Virginia is not 1-3 just because they played a tough schedule, they are 1-3 because they were not able to force opposing offenses into mistakes.
Thorpe shows flashes: One of the few brights spots for Virginia was T.J. Thorpe who showed the explosiveness the Cavaliers were hoping to see from him this season.
Down 17-0 in the first, UVa faced a 3rd and 10 and desperately needed a big play to stay in the game. They got one from Thorpe.
Johns took the shotgun snap and threw it up just in time to avoid the pressure to Thorpe who had a step on cornerback Jonathan Moxey. Moxey tried to push him out of bounds, but Thorpe managed to tiptoe on the sidelines and avoid a tackle from the Bronco's safety as he pulled away for the touchdown.
There were several plays in which Thorpe looked a step ahead of Boise's corners, but the one touchdown pass was his only catch of the night.
It may not have paid off against Boise, but defenses will have to account for the deep ball threat Thorpe poses which should mean more room for Canaan Severin.
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