Sunday UVa column: Running out of rallying cries.
Final: Duke 35, Virginia 22. The Blue Devils score 35 unanswered points and hand the Cavs their fourth straight loss.
The Scott Stadium crowd of 39,071 is getting antsy now, as Duke has cut the deficit to 22-17 and just got the ball back as the quarter closed.
Seventeen unanswered points for the Blue Devils, who have been getting the good version of Boone in this half.
The narrative going forward is pretty clear. Either the Cavs are snake-bitten again, or they find a way to get it done for the first time in four games.
The Cavaliers have played with a carefree confidence, and it has them heading to the locker room with a 22-7 advantage over Duke.
Kevin Parks has all three UVa touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving. On the touchdown reception, he caught the ball over the middle near the 10 and looked like he might drop it, but hung on by holding against his right leg. He then somersaulted over two Duke tacklers into the end zone.
Keeping with their theme of the day – surprise – the Cavs went for two and got it easily to take a 22-0 lead. Throw that play on top of the fake punt and the first down seam route that set up UVa’s second touchdown as the third unconventional decision that’s paid off today.
Watford is spreading the ball around nicely. Seven different players have double-digit receiving yards as the sophomore quarterback has gone 13-for-23 for 187 yards and a touchdown.
A week after going 31 for 38 for 295 passing yards against Navy, Duke quarterback Anthony Boone had a first half to forget before showing some life on Duke’s final drive.
He threw a nice strike over the middle, then delivered an alert shovel pass while scrambling to give Duke its best scoring chance of the day. Then he capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder to cut UVa’s edge to 22-7.
Essentially, the Cavs dominated this game for about 25 minutes, but Duke’s gotten the better part of the play lately. I doubt there’s anyone here who thinks this one is anything close to over.
Duke will get the ball to start the second half.
So far, so good for UVa, which leads Duke 14-0 as the period ends.
UVa has outgained the Blue Devils 175 yards to 45 yards, as Duke quarterback Anthony Boone has thrown several balls at his receivers’ feet and the Cavs have done a nice job getting pressure.
The Wahoos found success on their short passing game on their opening drive, getting a 13-yard catch by Kevin Parks on a screen and a 11-yard grab by tight end Zach Swanson, all setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Parks. They also showed some guts by running a fake punt near midfield, which punter Alec Vozenilek converted easily.
The second touchdown developed after a different tactic – the deep shot. David Watford faked a handoff right, rolled left and heaved it up for Tim Smith, who made leaping cacth with a defender on him. The gain of 51 to the Duke 5 set up Parks’ second 1-yard TD run of the game.
Watford is 8-for-12 for 139 yards for UVa.
The Blue Devils are averaging 36 points per game, so a quick start doesn’t guarantee anything. But for the Cavs, it sure beats the alternative.
Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. UVa favored by 3. Drop by and share your thoughts.