Sep 26, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers running back Billy Kemp IV (4) runs with the ball past Duke Blue Devils linebacker Rocky Shelton II (43) in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Virginia rallies to win season opener over Duke

Brennan Armstrong threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a score in his first career start and rallied Virginia to a 38-20 win in its season opener against mistake-prone Duke in ACC action Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

Armstrong completed 24 of 45 passes for 269 yards with two interceptions as the Cavaliers defeated Duke for a sixth consecutive time. True freshman Lavel Davis Jr. caught four passes for 101 yards with two difference-making fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Virginia intercepted Chase Brice four times. The Clemson transfer completed 16 of 36 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils (0-3, 0-3 ACC), who turned the ball over seven times and are off to their worst start since an 0-12 season in 2006. Brice was on the bench for Duke’s last two series.

The Cavaliers grabbed a 24-20 lead when Armstrong lofted an 18-yard pass to the 6-foot-7 Davis in the corner of the end zone with 12:43 to play.

After Brice’s third pick, Armstrong and Davis hooked up again for a 26-yard score. Davis broke multiple tackles and spun into the end zone to make it 31-20 with 9:59 left.

Wayne Taulapapa’s 10-yard TD run, his second of the game, extended UVA’s lead to 38-20 after a fumble by Duke.

Taulapapa finished with 95 yards on 16 carries. The Cavaliers outgained the Blue Devils 452-342.

Duke recovered a fumble by Tavares Kelly Jr. on the game’s opening kickoff — Virginia’s first play of the season — and the Blue Devils got on the board with Charlie Hamm’s 25-yard field goal.

Brice’s first TD pass as a member of the Blue Devils made it 10-0 with 1:07 left in the first quarter. He found Jake Marwede open across the middle for a 55-yard score.

Armstrong got the Cavaliers on the board with a 4-yard keeper, capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive and cutting Duke’s lead to 10-7 with 12:33 left in the first half. He had runs of 11 and 14 yards on the drive.

Virginia forged ahead 14-10 on its next possession as Taulapapa punched in a 1-yard run. Brian Delaney’s 32-yard field goal sent UVA into halftime with a 17-10 lead.

Duke outscored UVA 10-0 in the third quarter. Hamm kicked a 47-yard field goal after Virginia’s second fumbled kickoff return, and Brice threw an 8-yard TD to Noah Gray for a 20-17 lead going into the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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