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First half thoughts from UVA versus Louisville

Barf barf barf.

NCAA Football: Virginia at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginian Cavaliers are losing to the Louisville Cardinals 13-10 at halftime. So I gathered together my thoughts from a very up and down first 30 minutes.

Signs of life for the offense

Well would ya look at that. A deep bomb touchdown from Brennan Armstrong to Dontayvion Wicks. What that play did for the mental health of Wahoo fans everywhere was significant. Was smart of Armstrong to recognize the free play and air out to his top guy. Maybe that lack of pressure from Louisville’s false start was exactly what the quarterback and Wicks needed to get back on track. Hopefully that is a sign of more to come.

That said, Des Kitchings needs to continue to air the ball out and get away from the running game. UVA has just 14 rushing yards on 15 attempts. Armstrong has made mistakes, as have the receivers. But they’re this team’s best chance at winning the game.

Mistakes still costing UVA dearly

Speaking of mistakes, Tony Elliott’s team continues to beat itself. A pair of horrendous drops from Dontayvion Wicks and Keytaon Thompson were drive-enders for the Wahoos while Brennan Amrstrong fumbled the ball for the fourth time so far this season, this time on the Louisville 18-yard line which cost UVA points, and threw his sixth interception of the year right after the defense gave him great field positioning on an Antonio Clary pick. Add in a roughing the passer penalty on Kam Butler when UVA had Louisville stopped on third down and a pair of penalties on the punting unit and that’s why Louisville is winning this game.

Will Bettridge looks like the guy

Making long field goals > missing long field goals. Simple as that. Bettridge absolutely canned his 47-yard attempt, so much so that it probably woulda been good from 55+ yards, What a relief it is for this offense to have a kicker that can hit from the distance. The freshman is going to be critical for this team moving forward.

This is Virginia’s game to lose (and they’re trying pretty hard to)

UVA is the better team in this game. If Virginia loses, it’s because the ‘Hoos lost this game, not because Louisville won it. They should have a comfortable lead right now. The passing game was working before drops and turnovers got in the way and, save the one long touchdown run where the whole defense and the entirety of Scott Stadium was fooled, the Wahoo defense has been pretty solid in shutting the Cardinals down. Anthony Johnson was responsible for two interceptions as he had a one-handed pick on Louisville’s second drive of the game and then had a deflection in the second quarter which tipped the ball into the arms of Antonio Clary.

Might I add, Louisville is playing without ITS STARTING QUARTERBACK AND RUNNING BACK. Failing to win this game would be a huge disappointment. The offense needs to start performing like it did in the first quarter or we’re seriously facing a 2-4 record through the first half of the season.

The first quarter had tremendous vibes for the ‘Hoos. The second quarter was the complete opposite and, unfortunately, what we’ve come to expect for this team this season. This second half will determine how the rest of this season is looked at. 3-3 isn’t horrible. 2-4 is a mini disaster.