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 3-7, (2-4) in the ACC
In the news
Severin earns ACC honor: Senior wide receiver Canaan Severin was named the ACC Receiver of the Week for his performance against Louisville. Severin established himself as a top offensive threat for the Cavaliers with an incredible 11-catch, 153-yard game against Notre Dame, but had not lived up to that performance again until Saturday. Against Louisville, Severin hauled in eight catches for 116 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Last week's game: 38-31 loss at Louisville
Virginia found themselves in a close battle with Louisville and just as they managed to swing the momentum in their favor, a critical muffed punt by Olamide Zaccheaus in the fourth quarter with the score tied proved the turning point of the game. Louisville recovered the punt and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to T.J. Thorpe gave the Cardinals the ball on Virginia's two-yard line. Two plays later, Louisville scored a touchdown.
The loss was Virginia's seventh of the season which knocks them out of bowl contention.
It was yet another game in which Virginia shot themselves in the foot. In addition to the muffed punt, Virginia also committed eight penalties for 69 yards. With Matt Johns throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions and Severin having a career da, the team played well enough to win. Bad teams find ways to lose, however, and there's no more denying it, this year's Cavaliers are a bad team.
This week: Virginia vs. Duke, Sat. 3:30 p.m.
Duke will look for their seventh win in eight meetings against Virginia as they head to Charlottesville on Saturday. After starting 6-1, the Blue Devils have lost three-straight and things seem to be headed in the wrong direction in Durham.
The big news surrounding this game came out on Tuesday when it was announced Duke had dismissed receivers Terrence Alls and Johnell Barnes and linebacker Chris Holmes from the program. No specific reason was given for their dismissal. Barnes ranks second on the team with 34 catches and 411 receiving yards so his loss is a significant one for the Blue Devils.
You've heard of Christian McCaffrey, but Duke has a McCaffrey of their own: Max. With the loss of Barnes, Max McCaffrey will be critical for Duke's pass attack. Duke will also lean on quarterback Thomas Sirk who leads the team in both passing and rushing. He is not a star passer or runner, but he is abilities as a dual threat will make him a headache for the defense.
Running back Taquan Mizzell had only 40 rushing yards last week and he may struggle to get going again because of Duke safety Jeremy Cash. He is one of the best safeties in the country and, though he is a defensive back, where he does the most damage is against the rush. Cash is not only tied for the team lead in tackles with 88, he also leads the team with a ridiculous 17.5 tackles for loss.
Expect Cash and Mizzell to get well acquainted in this game.
Duke has not recovered from the inexplicable loss to Miami and they are committing more penalties and turnovers than you would expect from a David Cutcliffe team. A Duke squad known for not beating itself, however, will enjoy a matchup against a Virginia team known for doing the exact opposite. Can UVa finally avoid committing that costly penalty/turnover that costs them the game?
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