Nov 18, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Malik Washington (4) scores a touchdown as Duke Blue Devils safety Jaylen Stinson (2) chases during the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia extends home dominance over Duke, 30-27

Anthony Colandrea threw three touchdown passes, Malik Washington broke two school records and host Virginia held off Duke 30-27 in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers (3-8, 2-5 ACC) ended a three-game skid and gave the Blue Devils (6-5, 3-4) their fourth loss in five games.

Washington caught eight passes for 112 yards and two scores. His first touchdown broke Virginia’s single-season record for receiving yards and his second TD broke the single-season mark for receptions. It was Washington’s sixth straight 100-yard game and ninth of the season.

Washington has 96 catches for 1,311 yards. Olamide Zaccheaus (93 in 2018) and Dontayvion Wicks (1,203 in 2021) held the previous Virginia records.

Colandrea completed 21 of 30 passes for 278 yards and rushed for 66 yards. Malachi Fields added four catches for 74 yards and a TD.

Grayson Loftis threw for 278 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Duke. Jaquez Moore ran for 100 yards and a touchdown and Jordan Moore gained 117 yards on nine receptions.

It was Virginia’s sixth straight win at home against Duke, which hasn’t won at Scott Stadium since 2013.

It was also the first ACC home victory for second-year coach Tony Elliott and ended an emotional week that marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting deaths of football players Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry and Lavel Davis Jr.

It was 10-10 at halftime. Virginia struck first on Washington’s 34-yard TD in the first quarter. Duke responded with Jalon Calhoun’s 7-yard contested catch in the end zone in the second quarter.

The Cavaliers found the end zone on their first two second-half possessions. Colandrea’s 29-yard TD to Fields made it 17-10. After an interception by Caleb Hardy, Colandrea found Washington from 7 yards out for a 24-10 lead.

Duke converted a fourth down from its own 31-yard line before Moore broke off a 58-yard touchdown run to pull within 27-20 with 9:03 to play.

Virginia then used a “tush push” to convert a fourth down at midfield and Will Bettridge’s third field goal, from 30 yards, made it 30-20 with 3:48 left.

The Blue Devils trimmed it to 30-27 on Loftis’ 2-yard TD pass to Mehki Wall with 1:13 remaining but they were not able to recover the ensuing onside kick and Virginia ran out the clock.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Virginia Cavaliers running back Perris Jones (2) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia RB Perris Jones transferred to rehab center

Virginia running back Perris Jones was transferred to a rehab center to continue his recovery from a spinal injury.

The school said Friday that Jones is expected to remain at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville, Ky., for several weeks.

Jones was injured as he was tackled in the third quarter of Virginia’s 31-24 defeat at Louisville on Nov. 9.

He was transported to the University of Louisville Medical Center and underwent spinal surgery the next day.

On Tuesday, Cavaliers coach Tony Elliott told reporters he was able to speak with Jones via a Zoom call.

“He was in a position to talk to us. It was good to see his face and man, he was smiling,” Elliott said. “He was happy, focused on his team, telling us to tell the guys to keep fighting.”

Virginia (2-8, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) has two games left, both at home. After playing Duke on Saturday, the Cavaliers host rival Virginia Tech to finish the season on Nov. 25.

Jones, a sixth-year senior from Alexandria, Va., rushed for a career-high 393 yards with two touchdowns on 76 carries in 10 games this season. He caught six passes for 107 yards.

–Field Level Media

Virginia's Perris Jones is carted off the field against Louisville on 
Nov. 9, 2023.

Virginia RB Perris Jones has movement in extremities

Virginia running back Perris Jones has regained movement in all of his extremities after being injured in Thursday night’s 31-24 loss at Louisville.

Injured while being tackled after catching a pass in the third quarter, Jones was transported by ambulance to the University of Louisville Medical Center and remained there overnight.

Cavaliers coach Tony Elliott told reporters after the game that the news he received from the hospital regarding Jones’ condition was “encouraging.”

Jones caught a swing pass and was running up the field when he was hit near the Louisville sideline. He fumbled on the play, but Virginia receiver Malik Washington scooped it up and scored a go-ahead 42-yard touchdown.

Louisville’s training staff immediately offered assistance to Jones as officials and players from both teams gathered around him.

Jones’ roommate is fellow running back Mike Hollins, who survived a shooting that killed three of their teammates last November.

Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the deaths of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) warms up prior to the game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports

QB Tyler Van Dyke expected to lead Miami vs. Virginia

After a one-game injury absence, Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke appears ready to return Saturday when his Hurricanes host Virginia in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

Miami (5-2, 1-2) is coming off its first win over Clemson since 2010, and the Hurricanes did it with true freshman quarterback Emory Williams making his first career start.

Virginia (2-5, 1-2) is coming off its first-ever road win over a Top 10 opponent, knocking off then-No. 10 North Carolina 31-27. The Cavaliers lost their first 30 road games against Top 10 foes before last Saturday’s shocker.

“What you saw,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said, “is a group that believed.”

There’s a good amount of belief on the Hurricanes’ side, too, especially after they knocked off Clemson 28-20 in two overtimes last week.

Miami would’ve had just one loss this season had coach Mario Cristobal ordered Van Dyke to take a knee in the final seconds against Georgia Tech. Instead, a fumble led to an upset and a two-game skid that was broken last Saturday.

Now Van Dyke, who sat out last week due to an apparent leg injury, is poised to return.

“He was really close to being able to play (against Clemson),” Cristobal said. “So yeah, we feel good about (Van Dyke facing Virginia).”

Van Dyke ranks second in the ACC in passing yards per game (286.8). He is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns, with six interceptions.

Virginia shuffled its two quarterbacks — Tony Muskett and Anthony Colandrea — earlier in the season. But it’s been all Muskett the past three games, and Virginia is 2-1 in those contests.

Against UNC, Muskett completed 20 of 30 passes for 208 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.

Saturday’s game will feature the top two pass-catchers in the ACC: Virginia’s Malik Washington (56 receptions) and Miami’s Xavier Restrepo (54).

As for head-to-head battles, watch Virginia’s offensive line against Miami’s defensive front. Virginia rushed for 228 yards and a 4.2 average against the Tar Heels. The Hurricanes lead the ACC in fewest rushing yards per game (79.6) and fewest yards per carry (2.7).

The last five meetings in this series have been decided by one-possession margins. Miami won 14-12 in four overtimes at Virginia last season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Thomas Castellanos (1) celebrates after a touchdown during the second half against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College seeking turnaround against winless Virginia

Boston College and Virginia look to right the ship after different types of games produced the same Week 4 result.

The Atlantic Coast Conference foes meet for the first time since 2020 on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

A week after going down to the wire with then-No. 3 Florida State, the Eagles (1-3, 0-2 ACC) are coming off a 56-28 loss at Louisville in which they racked up 400 yards of total offense for the third consecutive game — a mark they reached only three times all of last season.

Thomas Castellanos had a hand in all four BC touchdowns. Two of his three through the air went to Lewis Bond.

The UCF transfer has passed for 909 yards and eight touchdowns and leads the Eagles with 280 rushing yards.

“I think he is starting to be more consistent and the wideouts are probably more comfortable with him now because he’s played more,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said.

However, the Eagles need to start faster. They were down 28-0 before scoring and allowed touchdowns on Louisville’s first six possessions last week.

“We looked a little sluggish and slow at certain positions,” Hafley said. “Our guys are excited to get the taste of that game out of their mouth.”

Virginia (0-4, 0-1) enters with the ACC’s worst scoring defense and offense — scoring 20.8 and allowing 37.8 points per game — and remains the league’s only winless team after losing 24-21 on a last-second field goal last Friday against NC State.

NC State was the first opponent the Cavaliers outscored in the fourth quarter this season, but even freshman Anthony Colandrea’s last-minute touchdown drive — bouncing back from two fourth-quarter interceptions — was not enough.

“He’s a competitor. I think that’s what makes him special,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said. “He believes he can make every throw.”

Colandrea is expected to be replaced this weekend by Tony Muskett, the Monmouth transfer who started the season-opening loss to Tennessee but was sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Malik Washington became only the third Cavaliers player to ever record three straight 100-yard receiving games in a season. He had a career day with 10 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns against NC State.

Though Virginia is 0-4 for the first time since 1982, its late fight was a positive sign.

“I think they’re starting to understand and believe what it takes to win consistently, right?” Elliott said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 22, 2023; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack running back Delbert Mimms III (34) scores a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NC State edges Virginia on last-second field goal

Brayden Narveson kicked a game-winning field goal from 33 yards out on the final play as North Carolina State pulled out a 24-21 victory against Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams on Friday in Charlottesville, Va.

Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for two touchdowns against his former team.

Kevin Concepcion caught both scoring passes from Armstrong, who was a Virginia starter the past three seasons. The graduate-student QB completed 15 of 30 passes for 180 yards with one interception for NC State (3-1, 1-0 ACC).

Virginia quarterback Anthony Colandrea’s second touchdown pass to Malik Washington went for 3 yards with 36 seconds to play in regulation, and then he tossed a tying two-point conversion pass to Malachi Fields.

The tying drive for Virginia (0-4, 0-1) covered 66 yards in 11 plays and took 2:53. An unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on the Cavaliers assessed on the kickoff allowed NC State to move 33 yards in five plays to set up the winning field goal.

The Wolfpack’s defense came up with interceptions on back-to-back Virginia possessions in the fourth quarter to cling to the lead. The second of those pickoffs came after the Cavaliers reached the NC State 26-yard line.

After scoring its last touchdown, NC State punted on its next three possessions to give the Cavaliers chances.

Colandrea finished 18-for-30 for 271 yards.

Virginia got field goals from 21 and 36 yards from Will Bettridge in the third quarter to close within 14-13.

Sean Brown and Aydan White made the interceptions for NC State’s defense. Brown grabbed his pick after teammate Bishop Fitzgerald batted the ball away from the intended receiver. White’s snatch came at the 1-yard line.

Concepcion racked up 116 receiving yards on six catches. His second touchdown play came with 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter as he cut through Virginia’s defense for the final 27 yards of the 48-yard play.

NC State’s rushing attack was held to 139 yards in its first game since running back Jordan Houston opted to leave the program.

Armstrong threw to Concepcion for a 12-yard touchdown for the game’s first points on the first play of the second quarter.

Virginia got even on its next possession with Colandrea throwing 8 yards to Washington.

The Wolfpack went back ahead when Delbert Mimms III ran in from 1 yard out with 28 seconds to play in the first half.

–Field Level Media

September 9, 2023 in Charlottesvile, Virginia; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver JR Wilson (17) is tackled by James Madison Dukes linebacker Taurus Jones (0) in the first half at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Hannah Pajewski-USA TODAY Sports

James Madison rallies in 4th to stun Virginia, 36-35

Jordan McCloud threw for 224 yards and one touchdown — coming with 55 seconds left in the game — as James Madison defeated in-state rival and host Virginia 36-35 in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

The 10-yard scoring pass to Kaelon Black capped the Dukes’ comeback from down 35-24 late in the third quarter.

In his first start, Virginia true freshman Anthony Colandrea threw for 377 yards and two touchdowns. Playing for injured starter Tony Muskett (shoulder), he went 20-of-26 passing and was intercepted once.

Colandrea’s 75-yard quick-strike completion to Kobe Pace gave the Cavaliers (0-2) their first lead of the game at 21-14 just 11 seconds into the third quarter.

Virginia added two more touchdowns in the third, one on Pace’s 3-yard run and the other on Mike Hollins’ 9-yard burst. Hollins also had a 2-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter to get the Cavaliers within 17-14.

Ty Son Lawton scored twice in the second half for James Madison, both times bringing the Dukes to within one score of Virginia. His second touchdown, a 27-yard run, cut their deficit to 35-30 with 8:34 left in the game, although the two-point conversion attempt failed. He rushed eight times for 79 yards.

Malik Washington caught five passes for 119 yards, including a 63-yard scoring reception, for Virginia.

The game carried extra emotion for the Virginia program, which held a pregame ceremony to remember three players who died in a shooting last November. The final two games were canceled last season, and this was the Cavaliers’ first home game of the season.

Saturday’s game was delayed for about 70 minutes early in the fourth quarter due to lightning in the area.

McCloud completed 20 of 31 passes for James Madison (2-0), which led 14-0 less than eight minutes into the game.

After an explosive first quarter, the only score in the second was Hollins’ 4-yard run to cap an eight-play, 66-yard drive. It pulled Virginia within 17-14 with 1:02 left before halftime.

With Virginia trailing 14-0 less than eight minutes into the game, Washington’s catch made it 14-7 with 6:06 left in the first quarter.

It came after the Dukes scored on their first offensive and defensive series. Receiver Taji Hudson took a backward toss from McCloud and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Phoenix Sproles.

Then, after James Madison forced Virginia into a three-and-out, Aiden Fisher blocked the punt in the end zone, and teammate D’Angelo Ponds recovered it for a 14-0 lead.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Tony Muskett (11) is sacked by Tennessee Volunteers defensive lineman James Pearce Jr. (27) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Tennessee crushes Virginia in opener, 49-13

Dylan Sampson rushed for three touchdowns and caught another as the No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers ran away from Virginia 49-13 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

Sampson had 52 yards on 13 carries, and his 9-yard reception opened the scoring three minutes into the game. Tennessee that piled up 287 yards on 52 carries for an average of 5.5 yards. Jaylen Wright had 115 yards on 12 carries.

Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton III completed 21 of 30 passes for 201 yards and two scores. He also rushed for 33 yards and two touchdowns. The Cavaliers’ Tony Muskett completed 9-of-17 passes for 94 yards

Tennessee began the game by marching down the field in just under three minutes with an eight-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Milton finding Sampson on a fourth-and-five play.

The Volunteers widened their early lead on a pair of 1-yard rushes by Milton on either side of halftime, and on Sampson’s 2-yard score midway through the third quarter.

After falling behind 35-3, Virginia finally found the end zone near the end of the third quarter when Perris Jones took a handoff, cut to his left, broke three tackles and scored on a 17-yard run. Jones carried the ball seven times for 39 yards.

Jacob Warren caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Milton early in the fourth, and Sampson added a 3-yard rush with 11 minutes to go.

Virginia struggled mightily on third downs, converting just 5 of 18.

Tennessee held Virginia to just 201 yards of total offense while tallying four sacks and five pass breakups.

The Cavaliers welcomed back running back Mike Hollins, who was one of two Virginia students wounded in a shooting last November that killed three other football players. Hollins finished with four carries and a catch for minus-5 yards.

Tennessee will host Austin Peay on Sept. 9, and Virginia will host in-state opponent James Madison that day.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers running back Mike Hollins (7) carries the ball during the first half against the Richmond Spiders at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Emotional Virginia faces tall task in opener vs. No. 12 Tennessee

Virginia plays its first game without three fallen teammates Saturday when it faces No. 12 Tennessee in both teams’ season opener in Nashville, Tenn.

Running back Mike Hollins was injured in the November 2022 shooting deaths of Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry on the campus in Charlottesville, Va.

“I can only imagine the emotions that’ll be flowing through my body,” Hollins said of taking the field for the opener. “I literally have no words because the spring game, it hit me like a sack of rocks and I didn’t expect it, so I can only imagine. I’m ready, though. I’m ready for it.”

Virginia canceled its final two games last season following the tragedy and finished 3-7 in Tony Elliott’s first season as head coach, including 1-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Elliott named Monmouth transfer Tony Muskett as the Cavaliers’ starting quarterback. He passed for 5,687 yards and 51 touchdowns in 23 games with the Hawks from 2020-22. He won an offseason battle with Anthony Colandrea to replace Brennan Armstrong, who transferred to North Carolina State.

“Taking care of the football, finding completions in the pass game, getting us into a right check if necessary,” Virginia offensive coordinator Des Kitchings said of the decision to go with Muskett. “He checked the box on all those things.”

Hollins enters the season as a backup to last season’s leading rusher Perris Jones and Clemson transfer Kobe Pace.

Virginia has not posted a winning record or been to a bowl game since the 2019 season.

Tennessee, meanwhile, finished 11-2 last season and ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll. The Volunteers capped the year with a 31-14 win against Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

The Volunteers are four-touchdown favorites at Nissan Stadium as quarterback Joe Milton III takes over full-time for Hendon Hooker, the 2022 Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year and now a rookie with the Detroit Lions.

“I’m excited for him. He’s a guy that did it the right way when it didn’t go his way early on,” third-year head coach Josh Heupel said of Milton, who replaced the injured Hooker and completed 19 of 28 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the Orange Bowl win.

“He looked at himself and saw how he needed to continue to improve to get better, trust in his coaches and the program and believe in the guys around him inside of the locker room.”

Since transferring from Michigan after the 2020 season, Milton has passed for 1,346 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions in 17 appearances (four starts) for the Vols.

Linebacker Aaron Beasley, Tennessee’s leading tackler last year and a preseason Bednarik Award candidate, said the team is entering the season with an aggressive mindset.

“Uber aggressive, play really fast … just attacking,” he said. “We blitz a lot, so just playing in the opponents’ backfield. Affecting the line of scrimmage, affecting the quarterback, really just uber aggressive.”

Heupel said there will be a moment of silence before kickoff, and the Volunteers will wear helmet decals to honor the deceased Virginia players.

The Volunteers have a 3-1 lead in the all-time series, but this is the first meeting between the schools since Tennessee defeated Virginia 23-22 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1990.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Charlottesville, Virginia, US; University of Virginia football coach Tony Elliott speaks during a memorial service for three slain University of Virginia football players Lavel Davis Jr., D Sean Perry and Devin Chandler at John Paul Jones Arena at the school in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. Mandatory Credit: Steve Helber/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia awards posthumous degrees to slain players

Virginia has awarded posthumous degrees to three football players who died in a campus shooting last month.

Wide receiver Devin Chandler majored in American studies. Wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. majored in African American and African studies. Linebacker D’Sean Perry double majored in studio art and African American and African studies.

“It was a great honor to be a part of presenting these diplomas to the families of Devin, Lavel and D’Sean,” athletic director Carla Williams said in a university news release.

The request to award the degrees came from associate dean Rachel Most, who was a dean for all three players in Virginia’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Perry, Chandler and Davis were killed in a shooting in a charter bus on Nov. 13 after returning to the Charlottesville campus from a class trip to Washington, D.C.

Virginia canceled its final two games of the season. The university held a memorial service on campus on Nov. 19, with more than 9,000 in attendance.

Running back Mike Hollins and another student were injured in the shooting. The suspect, former Virginia football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., is being held without bail in a Charlottesville jail.

–Field Level Media