Saturday afternoon in the confines of Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, the Virginia Cavalier football team took the field against the Duke Blue Devils in a clash with huge division implications. After a slow start, the Cavaliers woke up and went on to decimate the Blue Devils to the tune of 48-14.
It was a bounce back win for Virginia after losing two straight games. The offense found success in the red zone as the defense smothered everything the Blue Devils tried to do, and as a result the Hoos sit alone atop the Coastal Division standings again. Several players stood out as new milestones were hit around the field. Here’s the game By the Numbers:
34 - This is the first full game the Hoos have had to play since losing senior and All-American cornerback Bryce Hall. Hall wore the number 34, and that’s also the margin of victory for the Hoos against Duke. On purpose? No. Perfect? Absolutely.
14 - Duke only converted two of its 14 third down attempts for a completion percentage of 14%. Three times, the Cavaliers forced a turnover on downs. The defense. It’s good!
5 - Virginia’s defense had forced five turnovers all season coming into Saturday’s game against the Blue Devils. Against Duke? Interception, fumble, fumble, fumble, and interception. The Cavaliers doubled their season total by the time the final whistle blew on Saturday early evening, and the defense created havoc everywhere on the field.
95 - While this could have also gone under “5”, 95 yards is the distance Joe Reed returned his fifth career kick off return for a touchdown. Virginia had just given up its first score, making it 27-7 with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter. Reed fielded the ball at the five and made quick work of the Duke kickoff team en route to a score. The most kick off returns for a touchdown in a career is seven, held by four different players including Clemson’s CJ Spiller.
Reed is currently the nation’s best in kick off return yardage on the season (per ESPN), averaging 39.4 yards per return. More impressive? He has 15 returns this season. The only two players with 38 yards per return or better — Boise State’s Avery Williams (39 yards) and Utah State’s Savon Scarver (38.6 yards) — have only returned one and eight kicks, respectively.
12 - The last time Virginia Football beat an ACC opponent by more than the 34-point margin we saw Saturday? That would be 12 years ago when the Cavaliers shut down the Orange Bowl with a 48-0 win against the Miami Hurricanes in 2007. Not too shabby.
62 - Hasise Dubois hauled in four passes for 62 yards on Saturday, and just about every single one of them was highlight-reel worth. Dubois has a team-best 489 yards receiving this season and averages 13.6 yards per catch. What is more impressive than his consistency is the fact that he consistently makes catches that look nearly impossible. The wide receiving corps was one that entered the season with a lot of questions from external parties, but Dubois and Reed (along with players like Terrell Jana) have been a bright spot on the offense.
Virginia takes the show on the road this Saturday as the Cavaliers face Louisville in a 3:30 ET game on the ACC Network.