Oct 23, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) carries the ball as Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive back Juanyeh Thomas (1) tackles during the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Brennan Armstrong totals 6 TDs as Virginia tops Georgia Tech

Brennan Armstrong passed for 396 yards, rushed for 99 and accounted for six touchdowns as Virginia held off Georgia Tech for a 48-40 win in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday night in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers (6-2, 4-2 ACC) won their fourth consecutive game. Armstrong, the FBS leader in passing yards coming into the weekend, completed 29 of 43 passes with four TDs and carried the ball 12 times with two scores.

Dontayvion Wicks had six catches for 168 yards and two TDs, Keytaon Thompson added 154 yards from scrimmage and Virginia rolled up 636 yards of offense.

Jeff Sims passed for 300 yards with three TDs and one interception and Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown to lead the Yellow Jackets (3-4, 2-3), who finished with 570 yards of offense.

Georgia Tech led by 13 early, but Virginia scored 20 unanswered points spanning the second and third quarters to build a 27-16 lead.

Gibbs ended the drought with a 71-yard run and the Yellow Jackets added the two-point conversion to pull within 27-24.

Armstrong answered with his legs, rushing for TDs (4 and 14 yards) on Virginia’s next two possessions to take a 41-24 lead into the fourth quarter.

After a Georgia Tech field goal, Armstrong’s 20-yard scoring strike to Ra’Shaun Henry capped a 96-yard drive and made it 48-27 with 3:50 remaining.

Sims and the Yellow Jackets’ special teams made things interesting late.

Sims threw a 37-yard TD pass to Kalani Norris with 1:16 left and, after a successful onside kick, he completed a 5-yard TD to Kyric McGowan with 22 seconds to go to make it 48-40.

Another well-executed onside kick gave Georgia Tech a final possession at midfield. Sims’ heave into the end zone on the final play was batted down by Virginia’s Joey Blount.

The Yellow Jackets were rolling early. They struck first with Sims’ 36-yard pass to McGowan just 1:40 into the game, and made it 13-0 on a 3-yard run by Dontae Smith with 6:28 left in the first quarter.

Billy Kemp IV put the Cavs on the board late in the first quarter with a 1-yard pass from Armstrong.

After a field goal put Georgia Tech up 16-7, the rest of the second quarter belonged to Armstrong and Wicks.

Wicks’ first score was a leaping 13-yard grab over two defenders in the end zone. His second, after an interception by Blount, was a 77-yard catch-and-run that gave the Cavaliers their first lead at 21-16 with 6:36 left in the half.

–Field Level Media

Sep 6, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) in action against the Mississippi Rebels at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dual-threat quarterbacks lead Virginia, Louisville in ACC tilt

Heartbeats should be back to a normal rhythm by the time Virginia and host Louisville kick off their Atlantic Coast Conference contest on Saturday afternoon in Kentucky.

Both teams are coming off nail-biting finishes, which Virginia looks to build upon and Louisville hopes to learn from.

The Cavaliers (3-2, 1-2 ACC) collected their first road win of the season last Thursday night at Miami, hanging on for a 30-28 victory when the Hurricanes’ 33-yard field-goal attempt hit the left upright as time expired.

The Cardinals (3-2, 1-1) had their three-game winning streak halted Saturday at then-No. 24 Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons, now ranked 19th, used a 29-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to escape, 37-34.

Louisville holds a 5-4 lead in the all-time series, including a 4-0 record at home. Virginia won the most recent clash, 31-17, in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 14, 2020.

The Cavaliers are trying to win back-to-back ACC road games for the first time since 2011. One key on Saturday will be containing Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham.

Cunningham has passed for 1,307 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 309 yards and an ACC-leading 10 touchdowns this season. In last season’s loss at Virginia, he passed for 161 yards and rushed for 197 yards and two scores.

“On a scale of whatever dangerousness there are, I would put him at the top of the dangerous scale in terms of how fast, how athletic,” UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall said Monday. “He can pull it down and run on any given play. I’m just really impressed with him. I think he’s a really good athlete. I think his throwing accuracy and precision has improved. On any given play, he’s a threat.”

Louisville coach Scott Satterfield has similar respect for Cavaliers QB Brennan Armstrong, who leads the ACC with 1,973 passing yards and ranks second with 14 touchdown passes. Armstrong accounted for 263 yards of offense and three scores (two rushing) in last year’s win over the Cardinals.

“Their quarterback is playing at a high level,” Satterfield said Monday. “He can throw the football. Very accurate passer, throws a very catchable ball, and they have some guys to throw it to as well.”

Louisville is 2-0 at home this season and plays five of its remaining seven games at Cardinal Stadium.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) looks to pass in the second quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Red-hot QB Brennan Armstrong leads Virginia into Miami

Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong has passed for at least 400 yards in three straight games.

The only other ACC passer to accomplish that feat in the past decade was Mitch Trubisky in 2016. He went on to become an NFL first-round selection.

On Thursday night, the offensively potent Cavaliers (2-2) will visit the Miami Hurricanes (2-2).

Miami’s star quarterback, D’Eriq King, is not expected to play due to an injured throwing shoulder. Still, King has not been ruled out.

“He’s improving and feeling better every day,” Miami coach Manny Diaz said.

Miami, which has won its past two matchups against Virginia, is a four-point favorite against the Cavaliers. However, with King hurt and Armstrong hot, consider this an early upset alert.

After all, Armstrong leads the nation’s top passing offense (430.5 yards per game).

“He’s hitting people in the facemask,” Diaz said of Armstrong. “His accuracy jumps off the film.”

Virginia started the season by routing William & Mary and Illinois before falling 59-39 to North Carolina on Sept. 18 and 37-17 to Wake Forest six days later.

Armstrong, a fourth-year junior, threw for a career-high 405 yards against Illinois on Sept. 11 and followed that up with a school-record 554 yards passing versus UNC.

As a first-year starter last year, Armstrong completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 2,117 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

This year, he has thrown just three picks so far and increased his completion percentage to 66.7 percent. He also has 13 scoring passes and is a threat to run, as evidenced by his team-high 552 rushing yards last season.

The Cavaliers have dropped five in a row in Miami since last winning there in 2011.

“The urgency is definitely there,” said Virginia wide receiver Keytaon Thompson, who is playing with a cast due to a fractured hand.

There is pressure on Miami, too, especially after ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit blasted the program last week, saying football was not a priority for school president Julio Frenk. Diaz started his press conference Monday by denying that charge.

But the Hurricanes have been unimpressive this year in losses to Alabama and Michigan State, as well as in a two-point win over Appalachian State.

Last Saturday, the Hurricanes played without King and ripped overmatched Central Connecticut, 69-0.

“One game doesn’t absolve us from the performances of our first three weeks,” Diaz said. “I’m responsible for that.”

For all the criticism — both nationally and locally — the Hurricanes still have a shot at winning the wide-open ACC.

If King is unable to play Thursday, the Hurricanes are expected to start second-year freshman Tyler Van Dyke, who completed 10 of 11 passes for 270 yards and three scores last week. True freshman quarterback Jake Garcia is also expected to play.

Three true freshmen — Brashard Smith, Romello Brinson and Jacolby George — each caught one touchdown pass a week ago. The Hurricanes also got an interception from true freshman safety James Williams, who was a five-star recruit.

“Saturday’s game was a commercial for our past two recruiting classes,” Diaz said. “Those classes don’t happen without us increasing the resources and support from our administration for what it takes to win here.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) scrambles past Virginia Cavaliers outside linebacker Noah Taylor (7) during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Hartman guides Wake Forest to rout of Virginia

Sam Hartman threw for three touchdowns and Wake Forest won another lopsided game, defeating Virginia 37-17 on Friday night in Charlottesville, Va.

Wake Forest (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), playing on the road for the first time this season, matched its 2020 win total.

Demon Deacons running back Justice Ellison added 86 yards on 13 carries, including a 1-yard scoring run.

Hartman completed 17 of 29 passes for 270 yards. He had touchdown throws of 39 yards to Taylor Morin, 12 yards to Blake Whiteheart and 12 yards to A.T. Perry.

Virginia (2-2, 0-2) lost for the second week in a row, with its defense struggling again.

This time, Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong wasn’t able to duplicate his school-record numbers from last week’s 59-39 loss at North Carolina. Still, he threw two third-quarter touchdown passes, the second helping the Cavaliers close within 27-17.

Virginia didn’t score in the fourth quarter, stalling on a fourth-down plays and committing turnovers on back-to-back possessions.

Armstrong was busy, completing 33 of 59 passes for 407 yards without an interception until his 52nd pass. Dontaytvion Wicks caught eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. The Cavaliers managed only 99 yards rushing, with more than half of those coming on the game’s last possession.

The teams combined to score on five consecutive possessions, including touchdowns on four series in a row to begin the second half.

Nick Sciba kicked three field goals for Wake Forest.

Three of the Demon Deacons’ touchdown drives lasted nine plays and the other consisted of seven snaps. The team’s top receiver was Jaquarii Roberson with four catches for 91 yards.

The Demon Deacons broke out to a 20-3 halftime lead on the way to defeating a team from the state of Virginia for the third time this season. Old Dominion and Norfolk State were the others.

Virginia’s first-half points came on a Justin Duenkel field goal.

Wake Forest has won five straight meetings in the series with Virginia.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) looks to pass in the third quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 North Carolina outpaces Virginia in shootout

Sam Howell passed for 307 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 112 yards to lead No. 21 North Carolina to a 59-39 shootout victory over Virginia in Atlantic Coast Conference action Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Josh Downs caught eight receptons for 203 yards and two touchdowns and Ty Chandler rushed for 198 yards and two scores for the Tar Heels (2-1, 1-1 ACC), who never punted and outgained Virginia 699-577.

Brennan Armstrong passed for a school-record 554 yards and four touchdowns for the Cavaliers (2-1, 0-1), who had won the last four meetings. Dontayvion Wicks had seven catches for 183 yards and a TD and Billy Kemp IV added eight grabs for 106 yards and two scores.

After UVA had erased a 17-point deficit in the second quarter to grab a 28-24 halftime lead, the Tar Heels regained control with three touchdown drives in the third quarter.

Howell threw a 5-yard TD to Garrett Walston and Caleb Hood scored on a 5-yard run to put the Tar Heels up 38-28. After a Virginia field goal, Chandler’s 5-yard TD run made it 45-31 with 1:40 left in the third.

Howell’s 3-yard TD pass to Kamari Morales expanded the lead to 52-31 early in the fourth.

Armstrong’s 9-yard TD pass to Kemp and a two-point conversion made it 52-39 with about seven minutes left, but North Carolina capped the scoring with Chandler’s 7-yard run at the 2:57 mark.

The Coastal Division rivals combined for 52 points and 764 yards of offense in an explosive first half.

The Tar Heels scored 21 points on their first eight snaps, with Howell tossing three touchdowns in the first quarter. Downs caught the first two, dashing 59 yards untouched after a short pass for a quick 7-0 lead and then laying out for a spectacular 37-yard catch in the end zone to push it to 14-0.

On North Carolina’s first play after a 1-yard touchdown run by Virginia’s Wayne Taulapapa, Howell hooked up with Khafre Brown for a 75-yard score and a 21-7 lead.

After a field goal put UNC ahead 24-7, Armstrong rallied UVA with three second-quarter TD passes to storm ahead 28-24.

Armstrong launched a 40-yard TD to a diving Wicks, fired a 1-yard scoring strike to Jelani Woods and dropped in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Kemp, the last one just six seconds before halftime. Armstrong had 364 passing yards at the break.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) runs the ball during the first quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Unbeaten Virginia steps up in class to face No. 21 North Carolina

Virginia looks for its first road win against a Top 25 opponent since 2011 when it visits No. 21 North Carolina for an Atlantic Coast Conference game Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Head coach Mack Brown of the Tar Heels (1-1, 0-1 ACC) feels the visiting Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0) aren’t getting enough respect.

“They should be rated higher than they are,” Mack said. “They should be rated higher than we are. They’ve dominated two games.”

Lately Virginia has also dominated the series against UNC, billed as the “South’s Oldest Rivalry.” This is their 126th meeting dating back to 1892, with the Cavaliers sweeping the last four contests.

“It’s not even on my mind,” UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said when asked about his recent success against the Heels. “Looking back doesn’t help anyone. We’re focusing only on today and today’s preparation and then we’ll do the same tomorrow, and we’ll do the same until we show up to play.”

The Cavaliers dominated Illinois in a 42-14 victory last Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. Brennan Armstrong passed for 405 yards and five touchdowns, 6-foot-7 tight end Jelani Woods caught five passes for 122 yards and one score, and Dontayvion Wicks caught two TDs.

This is the first of five games for Virginia against teams currently ranked in the Top 25, including road games at No. 24 Miami (Sept. 30) and No. 23 BYU (Oct. 30).

The Tar Heels began the season ranked No. 10 before losing their ACC opener at Virginia Tech.

“After the opening ball game, we had to quit worrying about rankings and we had to quit worrying about the conference,” Brown said. “We had to play better and get back on track.”

Fueled by Sam Howell, North Carolina did just that with a 59-17 home thumping of Georgia State last Saturday night.

Howell passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards and two more scores, including a career-long 62-yard scamper. The only other Tar Heels quarterback with 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game was Marquise Williams against Notre Dame in 2014.

In two meetings with the Cavaliers, Howell is 38-of-57 passing for 796 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.

Brown announced that cornerback Ladaeson DeAndre Hollins is out for the season with a lower-body injury suffered against Georgia State. Guard Joshua Ezeudu and running backs British Brooks and D.J. Jones will be evaluated during the week before their status for Saturday is determined. Safety Ja’Qurious Conley left Saturday’s game with an injury to his left hand and re-entered the game wearing a cast.

As for Virginia, Armstrong was treated in the medical tent during the Illinois game for an apparent leg/knee injury before returning to the field.

“Anytime your quarterback has anything, I’m concerned,” Mendenhall said. “I haven’t heard, which is always good news, otherwise I would have got texts and emails and alerts and reminders. I haven’t had any of that.”

Defensive end Adeeb Atariwa was in street clothes for the Illini game but Mendenhall is “hopeful” he can play this Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Demick Starling (17) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against William & Mary Tribe during the second half at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia chasing 2-0 start as ailing Fighting Illini visit

Virginia has won nine straight nonconference games at Scott Stadium heading into Saturday morning’s clash with an Illinois squad limping into Charlottesville, Va., after a humbling setback.

The Illini (1-1) of the Big Ten and the Cavaliers (1-0) of the ACC are meeting for the first time in the regular season. Illinois swept the only two previous meetings in the 1990 Citrus Bowl and the 1999 MicronPC.com Bowl.

Virginia opened its season with a 43-0 home thumping of FCS opponent William & Mary on Saturday night, while Illinois fell 37-30 on Saturday to UTSA in Champaign for its first loss under new coach Bret Bielema.

“This isn’t where I want to be,” Bielema said after the game, the Roadrunners’ first win against a Big Ten opponent.

UTSA never trailed as it piled up nearly 500 yards of offense (280 passing and 217 rushing). Illinois reached the red zone with a chance to tie or win on its final possession but couldn’t punch it in.

“We weren’t good enough to win today, but the worst thing that can happen from this point forward is if we don’t learn from this moment,” said Bielema, whose team opened the season with a 30-22 win against Nebraska on Aug. 28. “… Unfortunately, it sucks to go through it, but hopefully it will be a positive thing for us in the future.”

The Illini defense will be tested by a versatile Virginia offense that outgained William & Mary 545-183, with Brennan Armstrong passing for 339 yards and accounting for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).

Of the Cavaliers’ 32 rushing attempts, 20 were by players who joined the program as quarterbacks: Armstrong, Keytaon Thompson, Iraken Armstead and Jacob Rodriguez. Thompson had a 40-yard run, Rodriguez a 24-yarder and Armstead a 20-yard pickup.

“There’s appearing to be the makings of a pretty diverse offense with a lot of different opportunities, with room to grow on the execution,” UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

Armstrong completed 21 passes to nine different receivers against the Tribe.

“It was a good little icebreaker this week,” Armstrong said. “Now we start getting to the (Power Five games) with Illinois. I’m excited to go continue to get better this next week and figure out what we need to work on.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) scrambles against William & Mary Tribe linebacker Trey Watkins (2) during the first half at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Brennan Armstrong helps Virginia rout William & Mary

Brennan Armstrong threw two touchdown passes and also ran for two scores to lead host Virginia to a season-opening 43-0 victory against William & Mary on Saturday night in Charlottesville, Va.

Armstrong completed 20 of 30 passes for 336 yards and no interceptions as the Cavaliers (1-0) posted their first shutout since a 28-0 defeat of South Carolina in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29, 2018.

William & Mary (0-1), an FCS opponent, was outgained by a 545-183 margin.

Armstrong’s 65-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Demick Starling put Virginia in front 24-0 midway through the third quarter.

Justin Duenkel’s 25-yard field goal made it 27-0 with 1:54 to go in the third quarter. Thirteen seconds later, a snap sailed over Tribe quarterback Darius Wilson’s head and went through the end zone for a safety to make it 29-0.

Armstrong’s 3-yard scoring pushed it to 36-0 on the second play of the fourth quarter. A 9-yard touchdown run by Ronnie Walker Jr. capped the Cavaliers’ scoring with 6:52 left in the game.

The Tribe did have a couple of scoring chances. Ethan Chang missed a 42-yard field goal late in the second quarter and had a 36-yard attempt blocked by Nick Grant in the third quarter.

The Virginia defense set the tone early as the Tribe went three-and-out on their first five possessions, gaining just 17 total yards.

A 55-yard punt return by Billy Kemp IV set up Virginia’s first score, a 32-yard field goal by Duenkel with 12:05 left in the first quarter.

After completing back-to-back passes of 23 and 30 yards to Dontayvion Wicks to set up a first-and-goal, Armstrong ran it in from the 2 to put the Cavaliers up 10-0 in the second quarter.

Keytaon Thompson broke a handful of tackles on a 40-yard run to the William & Mary 7-yard line. Armstrong then floated a 5-yard fade pass to Ra’Shaun Henry in the corner of the end zone for a 17-0 lead with 32 seconds left in the half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall (R) argues a call with officials against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia brings momentum, winless streak vs. Boston College

With everything else turned completely upside-down in 2020, perhaps there’s no better time for Virginia to change its luck against Boston College.

The Cavaliers are 0-6 all-time against the Eagles heading into Saturday’s home finale in Charlottesville, Va., including an 0-2 record at home and an 0-4 mark since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005.

Virginia (4-4, 3-4 ACC) enters with a three-game winning streak but has only played twice since Halloween. Last Saturday’s game at Florida State was postponed just hours before kickoff due to COVID-19 concerns within the Seminoles’ program.

Boston College (6-4, 5-4 ACC) has alternated wins and losses over its last nine games and is coming off a 34-27 victory at home over Louisville on Saturday. This is the Eagles’ final game of the regular season, their first campaign under coach Jeff Hafley.

Boston College lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec (left knee) and No. 1 running back David Bailey (upper body) to injuries in the win against the Cardinals, but both were listed atop the depth chart released this week.

“The quarterback is from my area, so I’ve been watching him a little bit,” said UVA linebacker and Pittsburgh native Zane Zandier, who ranks fifth in the ACC with 8.4 tackles per game. “He’s been playing pretty well, so it’s been cool to see.”

A Notre Dame transfer, Jurkovec has completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games. Backup Dennis Grosel completed 4 of 7 attempts for 44 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the win against Louisville.

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” said Grosel, who started seven games in 2019. “I did it last year, so I hopped right on and held on for the ride.”

Whoever starts on Saturday will face a Virginia secondary that has been playing without starting safeties Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson since October due to injuries.

“It’s pending,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall said when asked if either would return this season. “Joey is closer than Brenton at this point, and so we remain hopeful, is the best way that I could put it.”

Virginia ranks last in the ACC in pass defense, allowing 289 yards per game through the air.

Blount and Nelson are part of the senior class that will be honored Saturday at Scott Stadium, where Virginia is 4-1 in 2020 and has won 16 of its last 18 games dating to the start of the 2018 season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. (81) celebrates with Cavaliers offensive tackle Bobby Haskins (70) and Cavaliers tight end Grant Misch (85) after scoring a touchdown against the Abilene Christian Wildcats in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia looks for fourth straight win, hosts Boston College in ACC battle

With everything else turned completely upside-down in 2020, perhaps there’s no better time for Virginia to change its luck against Boston College.

The Cavaliers are 0-6 all-time against the Eagles heading into Saturday’s home finale in Charlottesville, Va., including an 0-2 record at home and an 0-4 mark since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2005.

Virginia (4-4, 3-4 ACC) brings a three-game winning streak into this one but has only played twice since Halloween. Last Saturday’s game at Florida State was postponed just hours before kickoff due to COVID-19 concerns within the Seminoles’ program.

Boston College (6-4, 5-4) has alternated wins and losses over its last nine games and is coming off a 34-27 victory at home on Saturday against Louisville. This is the Eagles’ final game of the regular season, their first campaign under head coach Jeff Hafley.

Boston College lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec (left knee) and No. 1 running back David Bailey (upper body) to injuries in the win against the Cardinals, but both were listed atop the depth chart released this week.

“The quarterback is from my area, so I’ve been watching him a little bit,” said UVA linebacker and Pittsburgh native Zane Zandier, who ranks fifth in the ACC with 8.4 tackles per game.

“He’s been playing pretty well, so it’s been cool to see.”

A Notre Dame transfer, Jurkovec has completed 61.0 percent of his passes for 2,558 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions in 10 games. Backup Dennis Grosel completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the win against Louisville.

“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” said Grosel, who started seven games in 2019. “I did it last year, so I hopped right on and held on for the ride.”

Whoever starts on Saturday will face a Virginia secondary that has been playing without starting safeties Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson since October due to injuries.

“It’s pending,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall said when asked if either would return this season.

“Joey is closer than Brenton at this point, and so we remain hopeful, is the best way that I could put it.”

Virginia ranks last in the ACC in pass defense, allowing 289.0 yards per game through the air.

Blount and Nelson are part of the senior class that will be honored Saturday at Scott Stadium, where Virginia is 4-1 in 2020 and has won 16 of its last 18 games dating back to the start of the 2018 season.

A victory against the Cavaliers would give Boston College its sixth win in the ACC this season, tying a school record set back in 2007 when Matt Ryan was their quarterback.

Brennan Armstrong is the starting QB for Virginia. The redshirt sophomore has passed for 1,571 yards with 15 TDs and eight picks, and is also the team’s leading rusher with 399 yards and four scores.

“His confidence levels are through the roof,” Cavaliers guard Chris Glaser said.

“When you have a quarterback like that … you’re like, ‘Why wouldn’t I play my hardest for him? Why wouldn’t I do this and that?’ He’s a fun kid to play for and play with.”

–Field Level Media