The first ACC matchup between Virginia and Syracuse was one to remember as the Cavaliers put together a critical fourth-quarter drive to setup a game-tying field goal and force overtime. Both teams traded punches in overtime until Virginia walked away with the 44-38 win.
Here are five takeaways from UVa's first ACC win of the season:
The drive: Down by 3 in the fourth quarter, Virginia put together their best drive of the season thanks to some timely plays and a little luck.
Facing a 3rd and 15, Virginia was given a first down thanks to a face mask penalty. On 4th and 3, Johns dumped the ball off to Taquan Mizzell who weaved his way 11 yards for the first down. In all, Virginia drove 88 yards in 18 plays to setup a game-tying 25-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime.
Slow start: Virginia's fourth quarter drive was made all the more remarkable by the offense's horrific start to the game. The Cavaliers had nine yards in the first quarter and did not get a first down until about four minutes in to the second. Two plays after they did register a first down, Syracuse returned a Mizzell fumble 44 yards for a touchdown.
In their first four drives, Virginia had 26 yards, one first down and no points. Who would have expected them to be able to pull off that tremendous fourth-quarter comeback?
Goal line stand: While things were ugly for the offense early, Virginia's defense did not allow Syracuse to take advantage thanks in large part to a key goal line stand to close out the end of the first quarter.
Syracuse had a 1st and goal at Virginia's 2-yard line, but the Cavaliers forced a nine-yard loss on the play. Dontae Strickland took it back down to the goal line on second down, but the Cavaliers stuffed two runs from their own 1 to force a turnover on downs and keep the Orange off the board.
Fake punt fakes out UVa: Fake punts are nothing new for Syracuse's Riley Dixon. The only thing that was surprising when he took off for a first down on a fake punt against Virginia was how much it seemed to catch the Cavaliers off guard.
Dixon threw a game-winning touchdown pass on a fake field goal in Syracuse's season opener last year and also added a 42 -yard fake punt run against Notre Dame. He made highlight reels across the nation for hurdling an LSU cornerback earlier in the season and Saturday was the third-straight game in which he ran a fake punt.
So, when Dixon took the field on a 4th and 4 on Syracuse's 44-yard line with 2:49 remaining in the first half, why oh why did Virginia look lost when Dixon pulled the ball in and took it 15 yards for the first down?
Syracuse was able to take the ball the remaining 42 yards for the touchdown just six plays later. In what became a very close game, these kind of plays can make all the difference between winning and losing. The key to a successful fake punt is surprise. At his point, how could anyone be surprised by the fake from Syracuse?
Leap of faith: One of the plays of the year took place in this game and it is one that safety Quin Blanding would like to forget.
After an interception put the Orange on Virginia's 26-yard line, quarterback Eric Dungey took off for the end zone. The last man in his way was Blanding, one of the best tacklers in the ACC. Rather than trying to run around him or through him, Dungey instead decided to hurdle over the 6-foot-2 sophomore on his way for the touchdown.
It may have come at the expense of the Cavaliers, but one couldn't help but be impressed at the athleticism of the freshman quarterback.
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