For the first time, an assistant coach got the honor of Breaking the Rock following a Virginia Football victory. Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall addressed the team in the locker room following the Cavaliers’ 48-14 win over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday night, and gave the post-game honor to Defensive Coordinator Nick Howell.
First time ever an assistant coach Breaks the Rock. @Nick9Howell #GoHoos pic.twitter.com/4AtjNacGsc— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) October 19, 2019
Howell also leads the secondary, a unit that went through some trials and tribulations over the last week following the season-ending ankle injury to All-American Bryce Hall. De’Vante Cross started in his stead, and finished with one tackle and two pass break ups.
Mendenhall was full of praise for the defense, and rightfully so, as they held Duke to just 14 points and an abysmal 2-for-14 (14%) third down conversion rate.
BRONCO: "I credit our defensive staff especially for the turnovers...Simply the field position and the number of opportunities we had were too great for the opponent to overcome...I don't think it was luck and I don't think it was random."— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) October 19, 2019
Chris Moore (12 tackles) and Joey Blount (10 tackles, one interception) both finished with double-digit tackles in the game, and Virginia forced five total turnovers. Blount and Brenton Nelson had interceptions, and Charles Snowden, Eli Hanback, and Mandy Alonso came up with fumble recoveries.
Check out some of the highlights from the defense this week:
Pure HAVOC!— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) October 20, 2019
The defense put on a show in the win vs. Duke.#GoHoos #TheStandard pic.twitter.com/nAjw95hW31