The Cavaliers put up a strong performance again this weekend against the Boston College Eagles, but once again fell short and moved to 0-5 on the season. This is the worst start to a Cavalier football season in the last 35 years. Going into Saturday UVA and BC were both winless against ACC opponents
Virginia switched up and went back to sixth-year Monmouth transfer Tony Muskett. The Cavaliers showed great potential taking advantage of their first drive. A series of short and medium passes helped to march the Cavs down the field and get into the red zone. Wide receivers Malachi Fields and Malik Washington showed they could carry the offense. The drive was capped off by a five-yard touchdown pass from Muskett to veteran back Mike Hollins.
UVA was able to stand strong against the Boston College offense and make a good stop to get the ball back. Tony Muskett and the offense capitalized on the strong defensive start by scoring again on the second drive. Des Kitchings ran a nice mix of different plays, both running and throwing the ball, with a good bit of short throws to backs in the flats that advanced the ball downfield. Once again the veterans showed up with Tony Muskett finding Northwestern transfer Malik Washington for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
With the score now, 14-0 the Eagles began to find their legs and drive down the field in the middle of the second quarter. The Eagles offense is led by quarterback Thomas Castellanos and running back Pat Garwo. Garwo had one of his better games of the season rushing for 87 yards on 23 carries and a two-yard touchdown run to cap off this drive.
Before the half was over the Wahoos would get the ball back with about a minute left. Once again Tony Muskett and the receiver core stepped up. A big deep shot downfield on the very last play of the half would be a 37-yard touchdown pass from Muskett to Malachi Fields. With that, Virginia would finish the first half with a 14-point lead. Good work on both sides of the football gave signs that the Cavaliers might have an easy and comfortable first win of the season.
Boston College entered the second half down by 14 and had been in the back seat all of the first half, that dynamic would flip in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles opened the half by putting up a Liam Connor 42-yard field goal making the deficit 11. Strong Eagles defense seemed to stall Tony Muskett and made stop after stop through the 3rd quarter. Boston College would pull together two additional touchdowns in the quarter. The first was a four-yard TD pass from Castellanos to Joseph Griffin Jr. and the second was a 33-yard touchdown pass to Lewis Bond, who plagued Virginia all day long.
The 4th quarter was set up to be a battle with Boston College in a narrow three-point lead 24-21. The defenses on both teams controlled the quarter. It was not until the midpoint of the quarter that Virginia was able to make significant progress. The Cavaliers tied up the ballgame at 24 each off of a Will Bettridge 44-yard field goal. A tied ball game with seven minutes on the clock, left plenty of time for both teams to claim victory. Boston College would make their mark on the next drive striking back with a field goal to edge BC forward 27-24. Just over two minutes on the clock, Tony Muskett had a chance to kickstart the Virginia football season. Continuing in the theme of this season the Cavaliers not only failed to score and win the football game but went three and out when it mattered most
Tony Muskett’s return did not spell victory for UVA, but he did put up a decent performance with three touchdown passes, going 22-34 for 247 yards and only one interception. The Virginia offense once again had a very hot start and was far too cool in the second half to win a football game. Just three points in the second half is not a winning strategy. Throughout the first half, Virginia ran the ball successfully and had the passing game on fire. The second half was a completely different offense. The BC defense did tighten up a little bit, but with talent all over the field in Malik Washington, Malachi Fields, and Mike Hollins the Cavaliers need to find ways to move down the field and score points.
This is a football team with weapons on both sides of the field that just can’t make it happen when it counts. The defense forced two interceptions, while the offense generated a total of 306 offensive yards. That is a stat line of a football team that should be winning games. The Wahoos will take on the William and Mary Tribe next week. This has to be a win for Virginia, they need to be a full-quarter offense and defense to avoid setting up for a winless season.