Going into the intermission, Oregon leads Virginia 30-6 in a game that’s had both highlights and lowlights for the Cavaliers. The score, of course, doesn’t bode well for Virginia fans who were hoping for a close game through and through. But that doesn’t mean all hope has been lost.
As we wait to see what adjustments Bronco Mendenhall and company will make during the second half, here’s what we’re seeing in the first half for those of you who weren’t able to catch it.
1. Virginia’s defense is shaky at best, but this was to be expected this week. Oregon’s offense is fast. They’re smart on the field, they find holes, and they relentlessly tire out your defense. We knew all this already. So, should we be too surprised that Virginia’s getting torched on defense having given up 358 yards in the first half alone? The Hoos are struggling with assignments, giving up an average of 7.6 yards per play, including a big third-and 36 that eventually led to a Duck touchdown. We wanted to see signs of life in the defense, and haven’t found it yet in this first half (at least, not after the initial 3-and-out drive).
2. At the half, Virginia’s offense has already racked up 177 yards, including 92 rushing yards thanks to a breakout game from Albert Reid, who has racked up 92 yards on his own on 12 carries. Quarterback Kurt Benkert has held his own, although he’s overthrown several potentially big plays. He’s 9-18 (not great) with 83 yards.
3. PENALTIES. Remember last week when we and everyone else in the world commented that Virginia had no penalties called on them, and Coach Mendenhall said how that’s not necessarily a good thing? With two quarters in the books, Virginia has had a whopping seven penalties, costing them 82 yards in the aggregate, compared to Oregon’s four penalties for 40 yards.
Virginia had a great first quarter. The second quarter was nothing short of disastrous. What adjustments are you hoping to see in the second half?