In the only ACC-Big Ten matchup of the year, Virginia had one mission in mind: the Hoos needed to make a statement. After an 0-3 start, including an embarassing showing against FCS team William & Mary, everyone at Virginia entered October with a lot to prove.
The obvious: Virginia is repeatedly being called "the new Duke." No one should be subjected to that. And after losing to Duke last year and flirting with the notion of a winless season, I can't say it was completely undeserved. Each week, though, the Virginia offense seems to show a little greater sign of life. This week, they came rip-roaring ready to go. Jameel Sewell's performance was nothing short of impressive. He amassed 305 passing yards in 20 of 30 attempts. And that's zero interceptions, for those of you keeping score at home.
But Sewell can't get all the credit here. Virginia's offensive line just straight up DESTROYED Indiana's D-line. It was refreshing to see for the first time this season just what Sewell could do when offered just a little bit of protection. The offense produced 536 total offensive yards, the first time breaking 500 since 2004.
As usual, Vic Hall also made a statement, catching 6 balls for 85 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown pass from Sewell -- the first TD reception of his career.
"Clearly he is a very significant athlete. Whether it's returning punts, playing corner, playing the slot, playing quarterback, when hasn't Vic looked athletic? He's a great competitor who loves the game of football, loves playing for his teammates, and he did a real good job out there as a receiver," says Virginia head coach Al Groh.
I've got many more things to say as I look to slap up some commentary article later this week. But I think we've made two statements out of this game:
First, Al Groh really is Mr. October. Which, of course, worries me.
Second, we are not Duke. We will never be Duke. So please stop making such a comparison.