The Virginia Cavaliers were given quite a scare on Saturday but managed to battle back from a 17-0 deficit for the hard-fought 28-17 win over Old Dominion.
In the last 15 seasons, the Cavaliers have trailed by double digits going into halftime in 38 games. Before Saturday, they came back to win only one of those games. Virginia improved to 2-37 after rallying to defeat the Monarchs and are 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2004.
The good: The defensive recovery
It’s hard to win when you spot the other team 17 points. UVA needed its defense to step up after a horrific start and they did, not allowing a single point the rest of the game after the Monarchs took a 17-0 lead.
After the first three drives, Virginia forced six punts, two turnovers on downs and a pick-six and allowed only 94 total yards of offense.
That’s one hell of an adjustment by the defense and it saved the game as the offense sputtered for most of the night.
The bad: The start
As good as the defense was for most of the game, they sure were terrible at the star. Virginia dug themselves a 17-0 hole as ODU marched down the field in each of their first three possessions. The Monarchs got the ball to start and went 74 yards in 11 plays before settling for a field goal. The next drive they sent 48 yards in five plays for a touchdown and they recorded a second touchdown after than it nine plays and 89 yards.
That’s three drives, 17 points and 211 yards of offense. Yikes.
The ugly: Bryce Perkins’ injury scare
After a fantastic 15 yard run in which Perkins turned what looked like a sure loss into a nice gain, the very next play was almost a disaster. The snap took Perkins by surprise and he scrambled back after the ball. As he tried to get on top of it, he was obliterated by Keion White. Virginia eventually was able to pounce on the loose ball and the play was negated by an offside penalty, but Perkins stayed down on the field.
After several minutes that felt like an absolute eternity to all Cavalier fans, Perkins was able to get up and trot off the field. He sat out the one required play before returning to the game, thus disaster was averted for UVA.
Perkins was the Cavaliers’ most dynamic player yet again on the night as he led the team in rushing with 35 yards, threw for an additional 175 yards and recorded two touchdowns.
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