Despite the tough 13-10 loss at UConn, the Virginia defense made some vast improvements. Most notably, Andrew Brown and Micah Kiser stood out.
The Virginia defense was torched against Richmond and Oregon to start the season, giving up 37 and 44 points, respectively. After two weeks, UVA had given up an average of 578 yards per game (125th out of 128 FBS schools) and ranked last in the ACC in both rushing and passing defense.
But the unit turned it around in week three, allowing just 13 points, the lowest total allowed by UVA in 16 games. It also held the Huskies to 277 yards, the fewest Virginia has allowed since September 2013 against Pittsburgh. The performance was particularly impressive coming on the road against a respectible offense led by talented QB Bryant Shirreffs.
Highly touted DT Andrew Brown had his best game as a Cavalier as he racked up 6 tackles against the Huskies, including 3.5 for a loss and a sack. The junior had only had 3 tackles for a loss and one sack in his entire career coming into the game. It was the most tackles for a loss for a Wahoo in 20 games, when Eli Harold had 3.5 vs UNC.
Micah Kiser also had a solid game for the Cavaliers, registering 8 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks. The junior LB currently leads the ACC with 34 tackles and ranks in the top 10 nationally. Last year Kiser was the only player in the country with at least 117 tackles and 7 sacks, so it’s looking like he’ll have another great year.
Hopefully these two rising stars can help UVA’s defense repeat their performance against Central Michigan this Saturday.