I gotta be honest with you. I basically didn’t watch Saturday’s game. Along with several of my fellow Streaking the Lawn writers, I was celebrating the wedding of our own Paul Wiley. Yes, they scheduled their wedding during football season and no, they don’t want to hear any crap from anyone about it. Natalie is as big a Michigan Football fan as Wiley is a Virginia Football fan, and the wedding was perfect in every way. Our table had three phones set up to stream various games, and Paul relied on us to keep him posted of score updates (which obviously we did by singing the Good Ol’ Song).
I digress. You’re not here to read about the wedding. (I mean, maybe you are. They had late night cookies that were out. of. this. world. And fresh out of the oven. Oh I’m digressing again.)
So as I was saying, I wasn’t paying attention to the details of the game, so I don’t have a lot of thoughts for this week’s column. I did, however, see a lot of hubbub on Twitter and beyond of Virginia playing three, even four quarterbacks at the same time, a real flex on the bench depth in that position.
To be clear, Brennan Armstrong is QB1 and that’s not in jeopardy, especially after he had a whopping 336 yards with two rushing TDs and two passing TDs. But Bronco Mendenhall and company are using Armstrong at QB with Keytaon Thompson, Ira Armstead, and Jacob Rodriguez all at wide receiver as well.
It’s risky, for sure.
If everyone stays healthy, the Hoos are in good shape. There’s a lot of versatility and the coaching staff will have set the team up for a lot of potential at trickery, something we know that Mendenhall and OC Robert Anae are prone to do. (Thompson at placeholder...would selfishly love to see that.) If it keeps up, this could prove to be a VERY exciting season! If Armstrong gets injured, though, it’s a different story.
Illinois has a new head coach this season in Bret Bielama, who is 1-1 in Champaign. Saturday marks the first road game for the Illini under this coaching staff. Meanwhile, the Virginia Cavaliers are 18-2 in home games, going back to the 2018-2019 season. There’s something to be said about the 4th Side energy on both the sidelines and in the stands. That said, it’s hard to turn up for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff.
What I’m Watching
Against Illinois next week, I’m looking for Virginia’s offensive line to bring the heat beginning in the first quarter. It’s a veteran unit that returned almost everybody, and they eventually seemed to click against W&M last weekend, but for it being such an explosive offensive display, a lot of that came later in the game. I’m hoping they create holes and protect Armstrong from the get-go to allow for some offensive fireworks early in the game.
Maryland is still the worst.
Virginia Men’s Soccer took an early 1-0 lead in the 26th minute in last night’s Battle of the DMV against No. 11 Maryland, but the Hoos played a man down after Daniel Wright received his second yellow card in the 44th minute. the Terps converted a penalty in the 61st minute and punched in the game-winning goal in the 78th minute. It was a missed opportunity for the Hoos to notch a quality upset. [VirginiaSports.com]