The Virginia Cavaliers took on the University of Miami on Saturday. The Cavaliers fell 29-26 in Overtime. Virginia put up another solid performance against a talented Miami team. The offense started on the right foot in the first quarter by getting a score immediately. A Malachi Fields conversion on 3rd and 13 set the tone. Des Kitchings repeated his playcalling from last week with quarterback Tony Muskett handing off to Mike Hollins, who punched it in for the touchdown. The Virginia defense got the ball back to the offense and set up another score. Tony Muskett connected with Malik Washington who turned the jets on and got Virginia into the red zone. Will Bettridge capped off the drive with a 22-yard chip shot.
The Virginia offense was very solid all of the first half holding Miami to three points. The defensive line was very active in run defense and Sam Weshall had a very nice interception off Tyler Van Dyke. The three points that Miami did score were provided by Andres Borregales from 47 yards.
Miami surged back in the second half, starting the third quarter with consecutive touchdowns. The first touchdown was scored by Ajay Allen rushing from 27 yards out and the second was a pick-six thrown by Tony Muskett. Kamren Kinchens intercepted and ran back 29 yards to the house to give Miami the 17-10 lead.
Virginia battled back in the second half of the 3rd quarter. Will Bettridge made another field goal to close the gap to just four points. Kam Robinson came underneath a route to intercept Van Dyke and turn the ball over. Perris Jones rushed the football down into the red zone and Mike Hollins found the end zone from 10 yards out to give the Cavaliers the lead back.
The 4th quarter consisted of three field goals, two for Miami and one from UVA. The 3-point differential for Miami ended the game tied up 23-23, sending it to overtime.
Virginia started with the football on the Miami 25. Tony Muskett and the offense were able to convert a first down, but nothing more than that, and Will Bettridge had to kick a field goal. Miami had an opportunity to win the game. They pounded the ball up the middle and a final 11-yard Mark Fletcher run won Miami the ball game 29-26.
Following Virginia’s heroics last week against North Carolina the Cavaliers put up another good performance. Almost 400 total yards on Offense and limiting Miami to less than 300 yards is a very decent performance. Tony Muskett proved again why he was brought in to play QB. Muskett was 24-38 for 239 yards and only one interception. Malik Washington had some good moments but couldn’t find the end zone. The defense was also solid, forcing two interceptions. The breakdown in the game really only came in overtime. The game was back and forth all day and the lack of a touchdown in the overtime was UVA’s only notable blemish.
This game proved that this Cavalier football team is better than their record shows. Aside from a blowout loss to Tennessee and a comfortable win over William and Mary, all their games have been lost by a very close margin. On the surface, this season seems to be abysmal but the quality of football has been at the Power Five level. If this team had a little bit more luck and some clutch moments went their way, they could be 6-2 instead of 2-6.
Virginia will be back in Charlottesville on Saturday taking on Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. Georgia Tech beat Miami in the final seconds of their game earlier this season and beat UNC last night. Two teams in the bottom of the ACC have talent and should showcase a good Saturday matchup. If Virginia is able to mix run and pass plays effectively they will put themselves in a decent position.