THE BIG PREVIEW: Virginia Football returns home looking for an ACC win versus Louisville


After another poor performance from the Virginia Cavaliers, this time against Duke, it feels a little bit like the wheels are falling off. There is little this team does well right now. Duke had 248 yards rushing. Virginia had 93. Duke dominated special teams, both blocking a punt and recovering a fumble on a kickoff. It was not a strong performance for Tony Elliott’s team and, coming off a solid performance against Syracuse, it seemed like a step backwards. Louisville, though sitting at 0-3 in the ACC and 2-3 overall, is coming off arguably its best effort of the season, nearly pulling off a road win over Boston College. Not that BC is good, but going on the road in conference is not easy, as Virginia has learned. The Wahoos are home, where they are 2-0 this season. However, they are three-point underdogs. Virginia on Defense Virginia’s Defense forced a punt on the opening drive. Over the next three Duke drives, Duke averaged six yards per play, faced just three third downs, and scored 21 points. At that point, the game was effectively over. Duke ran 24 plays during that stretch and Virginia, arguably, won three of those plays. That’s very bad, and meant it was no surprise that Duke scored on all three drives. Those first half drives were all without Nick Jackson, who missed the first half due to his ejection for targeting against Syracuse. Would things have been different with Jackson on the field? Perhaps. Arguably, he is the best defender on the team. Not arguably, he is the quarterback of the defense. Not having Jackson out there does more than just remove the Wahoos’ top tackler, it removes their leader