In a game that a few years back would have not felt important for Virginia, UVA got the better of an FCS opponent.
The Mendenhall era will always be known for a loss to the University of Richmond, but Cavalier fans would like that to be a long forgotten thought when Bronco Mendenhall has wrapped up his career at UVA.
Simplicity is golden in sports. Last year a CAA team, who certainly appeared more talented than this year’s opponent, beat Virginia. This year they got the better of their Colonial enemy.
Things weren’t perfect for either team.
William and Mary seemed like they weren’t sure about the direction their offense should take. 3rd downs were a struggle. The Tribe were just 1 for 11 on 3rd down.
The run game exploded late for the Tribe. QB Tommy McKee and RB Noah Giles combined for 140 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
Virginia didn’t finish drives with points as often as they would have liked.
Yet, the ‘Hoos began their year with a win and Tribe coach Jimmye Laycock can now start to focus on which QB to play and how to jump start this offense.
Kurt Benkert had an excellent game. The UVA QB was 27 of 39 for 262 yards 3 TDs and no picks.
Juan Thornhill was all over the place making plays for the Cavs defense. He had 10 tackles a TFL and 2 pass break ups. Malcolm Cook led the team in tackles with 13.
On the Tribe side the main positive was the receiving core played well despite a lack of dedication to the passing game. Clearly, this is a talented group. They just need to mesh with whoever W&M puts out there. Once the QB rotation ends, this position should be a highlight for the squad from Williamsburg.
Virginia still must prove themselves in a setting that is more reflective of what we will see on the schedule moving forward. With Indiana heading to town, a team that looked more than capable against the number two team in the country (Ohio State), it will be fascinating to see if Virginia builds on this win or returns to their underwhelming ways.