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First quarter notes from Virginia Football’s season opener against Richmond

UVA leads 14-7.

NCAA Football: Richmond at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Cavaliers have officially started their 2022 football season. With that, we’re giving you quarter-by-quarter notes from today’s contests.

1st drive — Richmond 3-plays, 7 yards, punt from the UR 25-yard line

  • UVA stuffed the Richmond kickoff return at about the 17-yard line after Brendan Farrell kicked the ball inside the five yard-line. An errant pass from Richmond on 1st down, a run for just two yards on seconds, and a five-yard scramble from QB Reece Udinski brought up fourth down. A great start for UVA’s defense which generated pressure on an obvious passing down on third while the D-line did well to prevent any real gain on second. So far so good for a Wahoo defense that needs to show significant improvement this season.

2nd drive — Virginia 4-plays, 20 yards, punt from midfield

  • Dontayvion Wicks already in mid-season form with two catches to start off for the UVA offense. 13 yards then a four-yarder. Drive stalled out after that with a Perris Jones run only going for a yard and Brennan Armstrong’s scramble only getting him back to the line of scrimmage. Not super pretty for the offense to start. Weird that the ‘Hoos didn’t go for it on 4th and five from the 50.

3rd drive — Richmond 11-plays, 80 yards, 8-yard TD run (7-0, Richmond)

  • Richmond going no huddle but UVA still trying to rotate on its defensive line. Richmond getting some tempo and rhythm to their drive now. Four straight completions followed up by a 20-yard rush displayed obvious holes in the Wahoo defense as Richmond got down into the red-zone. Shortly thereafter Spider RB Savon Smith gabbed through the heart of the UVA-D for an eight yard score. Ugly ugly ugly defense from Virginia there. Looked paper thin.

4th drive — Virginia 2-plays, 56-yard TD reception from Lavel Davis Jr. (7-7)

  • That’s more like it. After a short reception from Dontayvion Wicks drew a face-mask penalty, Armstrong found the returning Lavel Davis Jr. across the middle. Davis Jr. proceeded to break a tackle and gallop into the end-zone for a 56-yard score. Now to hoping the defense has caught its breath and can get back on track. Great to see him back at his best.

5th drive — Richmond 4-plays, 21 yards, punt from UR 46

  • Defense got back on track indeed. A 17-yard run to open the drive wasn’t good to see but the ‘Hoos anchored down after that and forced a punt. That’s what they needed.

6th drive — Virginia, 14-plays, 83 yards,

Perris Jones with a huge block on third down which allowed Armstrong to find Keytaon Thompson for a first down. Face mask/hands in the face penalties. Jones was the MVP of the drive as he racked up 35 yards rushing in the quarter including a 15-yard score on this drive as he broke a few tackles and dove into the end-zone while being brought down. The former walk-on is proving that the hype about him as the starting running back is real. Hopefully he can keep chugging along.

Not a bad start altogether. Defense needs to step up and keep Richmond off the scoreboard.