Virginia (3-6, 1-5 ACC) endured a heartbreaking loss to rival North Carolina last week but played well above expectations. Hopes were high as the Pittsburgh Panthers (5-4, 2-3 ACC) entered Scott Stadium searching for bowl eligibility.
Well, apparently nobody told UVA they were supposed to play football today, as they were thrashed by Pitt in an embarrassing 37-7 loss. If you think that looks bad, the score isn’t even half of the misery. The Cavaliers started with the ball on their own 25-yard line. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw a weak pass to the flat that was intercepted by cornerback M.J. Devonshire and returned for a touchdown. If you think that’s bad, he decided to do it again the very next drive. Pittsburgh was now up 14-0 after only 15 seconds. It is one of the worst starts to a game in college football history.
On their third consecutive drive, Virginia decided maybe running the ball would be better. While they managed to maintain possession of the ball, they couldn’t produce on the ground. Virginia totaled negative eight yards rushing… Negative eight. Armstrong was sacked eight times and only managed 152 passing yards.
Even though the offense couldn’t execute, the defense kept us in with an outside shot of a comeback into the second half. Pittsburgh started out hot on offense with two touchdowns in the first quarter, making the score 28-0. After this, the defense began to clamp down on quarterback Kedon Slovis, limiting his ability to create big plays. After a 25-yard field goal from Ben Sauls, Pitt took a 31-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, UVA finally got some production on offense, taking the ball 75 yards down the field and capping off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Malachai Fields. Going into the fourth, Virginia had it all to do, down four possessions with a score of 31-7.
No miracle comeback came to fruition; Pittsburgh managed to tack on two more field goals and held the Cavs to a couple of punts and a turnover on downs. Finally, the beatdown was over.
Virginia now drops to 3-7 on the season, meaning their bowl-game hopes have now vanished. UVA will get a non-conference breather next week against Coastal Carolina (8-1, 5-1 Sun Belt) before their rivalry game against Virginia Tech. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 Saturday, November 19th at 3:30 pm.