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Opponent Watch: 9/18

Posted on September 10, 2018, in Football by StLouHoo.

Welcome back to our newest football feature, Opponent Watch, where we recap the weekend's results of the other teams on Virginia's remaining schedule, to help the fans develop an understanding of what's upcoming. Next week, we'll start looking at UVA's apparent place in the pecking order of the Coastal Division, many ACC schools have yet to play a conference game. This week saw four of our future opponents have games cancelled or postponed due to Hurricane Florence.

  

LOUISVILLE

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat 9/22 @ UVA

This week's result: Won 20-17 vs Western Kentucky (Home)

Here's what you need to know about this game. (A) WKU lost to FCS Maine prior to this game. (B) Louisville trailed 14-6 going into the fourth quarter. (C) The Jowon Pass era is already over. Pass was the annointed successor to Heisman-winning Lamar Jackson, but that barely made it into the third week. He was mediocre in Week 1, 20/39 for 252 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs against #1 Alabama. But against Indiana State, went only 8/14 for 89 yards and 0/1 TD/INT, with his backup getting some work. And against WKU, he got the start, and went 0/3 with an INT before getting permanently benched. Enter RS Freshman QB Malik Cunningham, a dual threat weapon who went 10/18 for 88 yards, but more importantly rushed 21 times for 129 yards. The rest of the offense failed to show up, however, WRs not helping out the QB, the RBs only taking 15 handoffs (for just 77 yards). The Cards defense didn't allow a ton of points, but letting WKU convert 9 of 17 on third down was concernng, and giving up over 400 yards of offense is too many at home vs a CUSA squad. 

Record: 2-1

 

NC STATE

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 9/29 @ NCSU

This week's result: Cancelled vs West Virginia (Home)

Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. 

Record: 2-0

 

MIAMI

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/13 @ UVA

This week's result: Won 49-24 vs Toledo (Away)

Credit to Miami for playing a true away game vs a MAC team, I guess. I'm assuming Richt scheduled this to get his team some road game experience in a game they ought to win safely, prepping his team for road ACC dates. Toledo kept it interesting for a little while, with the score just 28-21 Miami late in the third quarter before the Canes piled on points over the final ~17 minutes. QB Malik Rosier wasn't very efficient, only completed 13 of his 23 attempts, though his completions did go for a lot of yards and he had a good 2/0 TD/INT ratio. Ultimately Miami was able to lean on their ground game to generate offense with Rosier, DeeJay Dallas, and Travis Homer wearing down Toledo late. The defense had a good day, only allowing 334 total yards, keeping Toledo to 2-11 on 3rd down. Not a perfect outing for the Canes, but a solid one on the road. 

Record: 2-1

 

DUKE

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/20 @ Duke

This week's result: Won 40-27 vs Baylor (Away)

Duke went on the road against a P5 opponent and came home with a win for the 2nd straight week. Duke raced out to a 23-0 halftime lead before having to fend off a Baylor rally. With Daniel Jones injured, Duke went to their backup QB Quentin Harris, who had an inaccurate day, throwing only 12 of 30, but did toss 3 TDs without any INTs. The rushing attack carried the load, going for 225 yards on 42 attempts. Baylor got back into it off a blocked punt return TD, but Duke's D was the difference, scoring on a fumble return in the 1st quarter and sealing the game late with a pick 6 in the 4th quarter before allowing a Baylor garbage time TD. Like Northwestern last week, Baylor is expected to finish at the bottom of their conference, so Duke is scheduling some winnable games here, but the key is they're winning them on the road. 

Record: 3-0

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/27 @ UVA

This week's result: Cancelled vs Central Florida (Home)

Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.  

Record: 0-2

 

PITTSBURGH

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/2 @ UVA

This week's result: Won 24-19 vs Georgia Tech (Home)

Pitt came out of the gate hot, with their rushing attack netting three first half TDs and QB Kenny Pickett shaking off an injury scare to take a 21-point lead into the half. But they lost steam after the break, Pickett wearing a knee brace and the offense losing its crispness, only netting a FG in those 30 minutes, while the defense started to wear down. GT got their triple option rolling against Pitt's front 7 and found the end zone 3 times after the half, but Pitt was able to hold on at home, getting a much needed ACC win in a game that saw visiting GT favored at kickoff. Pitt still looks fairly average, though a road date at struggling UNC could help them find a rhythm next week. 

Record: 2-1 (1-0)

 

LIBERTY

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/10 @ UVA

This week's result: Postponed vs Norfolk State (Home)

Game postponed to 12/1 due to Hurricane Florence 

Record: 1-1

 

GEORGIA TECH

Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/17 @ GT

This week's result: Lost 19-24 vs Pittsburg (Away)

Georgia Tech looked bad early, taking a 21-0 deficit into the locker room, Pitt's defense doing an admirable job shutting down the triple option. Taquon Marshall had a poor day throwing the ball, going a mere 6/15 for 66 yards and an interception, though the ground game was able to get going in the 2nd half, dragging GT back into it. The Triple Option generated 320 rushing yards, but needed 56 attempts to get there (5.6 ypa). RBs Jordan Mason and Jerry Howard looked good, each breaking a long one, but Marshall only had 3.7 ypa, keeping it 28 times for only 103 yards. GT's defense tightened up after halftime against an average Pitt offense, not allowing a ton of yards (335 from the Panthers), but did allow three rushing TDs. GT has to take on Clemson next week, so expect the hangover to linger. 

Record: 1-2 (0-1)

 

VIRGINIA TECH

Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/23 @ VT

This week's result: Cancelled vs East Carolina (Home)

Game cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. 

Record: 2-0

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