For just the second time in Mike London's tenure at Virginia, the Hoos defeated the Blue Devils. This time by a score of 42-34. Virginia's offense was humming early in the game as they jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead. The offensive onslaught would continue as Virginia racked up 502 yards of total offense, 359 of which came though the air. All in all, it was perhaps Virginia's most complete effort of the year. The day wasn't without drama though, as the Cavaliers almost squandered their 22 point 4th quarter lead. Let's see how things played out From the Upper Deck.
In case you missed it, here is what we were looking going into Saturday's game.
1) Sound the Smoke Alarm - Taquan Mizzell continued to impress gaining 61 yards on the ground and 43 yards through the air. It was the ninth time he has gone over 100 total yards this season. On top of that, he found the end zone three times including once through the air and twice on the ground. Going into the final game of the season, he sits just 55 rushing yards and 29 passing yards short of reaching the 700 yard milestone in both categories.
2) Play 40 Minutes - When the Hoos went up 21-0, I am sure I'm not the only one who thought "oh no, here we go again." The last time Duke visited Scott Stadium, Virginia jumped out to a 22-0 lead only to be shut-out the rest of the way, falling to the Blue Devils 35-22. It sure didn't help that Duke also ran back the ensuing kickoff to make the score 21-7. Fortunately for Virginia, the offense was clicking and they managed to stay ahead of Duke the rest of game, never allowing them closer than the eight point final score.
3) Make Duke Throw it - It's hard to tell what was the real cause for Virginia holding Duke to only 100 yards rushing. Whether it was the work of the defense, or the fact that the Hoos jumped out to such an early lead, Virginia did a tremendous job of bottling up the Blue Devil running game. That being said, the 385 yards passing wasn't exactly what the doctor ordered. We'll chalk that up to Duke playing from behind and call it a win.
As discussed earlier, this was Virginia's most complete effort on the offensive side of the ball. While the passing defense left a little to be desired, there is still a lot to take away from this game. As I've said before, say what you will about the coaching staff, the players continue to play hard. With Virginia Tech coming to town there is reason for optimism that the 11 year streak can come an end on Saturday.
Kickoff is at Noon on Saturday. Check back later in the week for the keys to the game, From the Upper Deck.