Tony Elliott opened his tenure as the Virginia Cavaliers Head Coach with a 34-17 victory over Richmond. But what is to come for the Hoos? This column keeps you informed on each of Virginia’s future opponents.
Illinois Fighting Illini: 23-20 Loss at Indiana
After opening the season with a convincing win over Wyoming, the Fighting Illini evened out their record, after allowing Indiana’s Connor Bazelak to move the ball through the air at ease. They did show some strengths — particularly in the rushing department, where Chase Brown exploded for nearly 200 yards. Additionally, Tommy Devito appears to be a much more capable passer with a more favorable situation than he had previously at Syracuse.
Old Dominion Monarchs: 20-17 Win vs Virginia Tech
To the satisfaction of Wahoos fans everywhere, lightning did strike twice and the Hokies suffered another embarrassing loss. Virginia has to deal with Old Dominion themselves in Week 3 but the Monarchs showed plenty of flaws. Most evidently, quarterback Hayden Wolff was inaccurate all night. It was a matter of ODU playing slightly less sloppily than Virginia Tech.
Syracuse Orange: 31-7 Win vs Louisville
Syracuse is....good now?? Ah yes, the Jason Beck effect was in full force as signal caller Garrett Shrader looked like a completely different product. The Tony White defense stifled another running quarterback. This is certainly not a team that Virginia should take lightly when they travel up north in a few weeks.
Duke Blue Devils: 30-0 Win vs Temple
Oh yeah, speaking of impressive performances around the ACC, Duke looked like an actual power five football team! They simply overwhelmed an inferior opponent physically and athletically. Riley Leonard put up video game numbers. Things are looking a little brighter for Mike Elko and the Blue Devils.
Louisville Cardinals: 31-7 Loss at Syracuse
Louisville suffering a close, demoralizing loss was a possibility in my mind. Scott Satterfield is really good at those. (See: Virginia at Louisville 2021) But this was an absolute blunder. As aforementioned, Malik Cunningham was essentially ineffective and the defense had all sorts of issues.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: 41-10 Loss vs Clemson
Same old Georgia Tech. Actually this time the defense communicated better and held its own but costly mistakes, especially in the hands of head coach Geoff Collins, let the game get away. This a team that should be making a threat in this mess we call the coastal division.
Miami Hurricanes: 70-13 Win vs Bethune-Cookman
I don’t learn anything from this game and I probably won’t learn anything next week (vs Southern Miss) either. The Canes dominated a vastly inferior opponent. When Miami travels down to College Station in Week 3, we will start to see if the Cristobal hype is warranted.
North Carolina Tar Heels: 63-61 Win at Appalachian State
Well..it is clear what UNC’s strengths and weaknesses are. And it’s not very different from recent Tar Heel teams (or UVA teams, for that matter). Drake Maye showed incredible poise and polish for a new starting quarterback. His offense can move the ball at ease. On the other hand, the defense has the same issues as we’ve seen in the entire Mack Brown era.
Pittsburgh Panthers: 38-31 Win vs West Virginia
Our defending ACC champs have always been an issue for UVA. It appears that this will be the case in 2022 as well. The fighting Narduzzi’s had their share of sloppy penalties and mistakes, but showed the prototypical aggressive and great tackling defense. Kedon Slovis is not Kenny Pickett but he’s more than capable under center.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: 38-28 Win vs Army
Here’s the deal with Coastal: their star quarterback, Grayson McCall, returns, but virtually all of his weapons are gone. McCall was more pedestrian as a result but we also saw the emergence of running back Reese White. More on UVA’s November non-conference opponent will be uncovered over the coming weeks but they are possibly not the same force they recently were.
Virginia Tech Hokies: 20-17 Loss vs Old Dominion
Hey, UVA should be the best team in the state again! Does it show against their ACC rival? That is the million dollar question. However, the Hokies had an embarrassing performance in which they resembled a Justin Fuente coached-team. Turns out Brent Pry can’t actually turn things from night to day in one offseason.