Aug. 28, 2000
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Sept. 2, 2000
3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium
Virginia kicks off the 2000 season this Saturday (Sept. 2) against the Brigham Young Cougars in the dedication game of the expanded Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.
Brigham Young kicked off what might be the most grueling travel schedule in college football history last Saturday with a 29-3 loss to defending national champion Florida State in Jacksonville, Fla. In addition to travelling to Jacksonville and Charlottesville, the Cougars also travel to Syracuse, N.Y., all before October.
The Smith Center, completed at a cost of approximately $86 million, includes new seats and new upper decks arranged in a bowl shape at the south end of the facility to increase the stadium's capacity from 40,000 two years ago to 61,500 today. Among the additions ready for this season are expanded upper deck seating, expansion of the President's Box on the east side, completion of 44 luxury suites, finishing the upper level of Bryant Hall, and expanding the press box.
Television: The game is being televised regionally on ABC.
Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WWWV in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Frank Quayle, the 1968 ACC Football Player of the Year, provides the color commentary, while Quayle's former teammate and quarterback Gene Arnette provides sideline analysis.
The Series vs. Brigham Young
Brigham Young makes its first trip to Charlottesville as the teams meet for the second year in a row and just the third time overall. Virginia has won the first two meetings and both have been decided by a touchdown or less and have come down to the wire with the Cavalier defense making a big play to preserve each victory.
The first meeting between the two schools saw the Cavaliers gain a 22-16 win in the 1987 All American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. Cougar quarterback Sean Covey got quite a workout, completing 37 of 61 passes for 394 yards that evening. His figures for attempts and completions are the second-most ever against Virginia, while his yards passing are sixth. Despite forcing just one turnover and relinquishing 489 yards of total offense, the UVa defense turned in key second half plays when needed. Virginia kept the Cougars out of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line in the third quarter. On BYU's next to last possession, Sean Scott stopped Covey on fourth-and-one at the BYU 48 to turn the ball over on downs, while in the final minute, the Cavaliers forced Covey to throw four consecutive incompletions on the Cougars' final possession.
Last season UVa gained a 45-40 win in Provo in one of the most exciting shootouts in school history. The Cavaliers scored on the opening drive and converted two interceptions into touchdowns to open a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. BYU scored three second quarter touchdowns, including one on a 28-yard interception return, to trim UVa's lead to 28-19 at halftime. The defense put Virginia on the board early in the third quarter as Tim Spruill alertly scooped up a lateral and raced untouched 20 yards for a touchdown to push the UVa lead to 35-19. The teams traded scores the rest of the period with UVa holding a 45-33 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Cougars scored a touchdown early in the final period in what proved to be the game's final points. Virginia punted on its next possession with BYU taking over on its own 11-yard line with 8:03 left to play. The Cougars then embarked on a 15-play drive that used more than six minutes, driving to the eight-yard line with less than three minutes to play, but a holding penalty stopped their momentum. Faced with a fourth-and-goal from the 11, quarterback Kevin Feterik's final pass was intercepted by safety Jerton Evans to preserve the win for Virginia.
Wide receivers coach Art Markos and tight ends coach Danny Wilmer are the only members of Welsh's staff who have coached in all three games.
Welsh is 3-0 all-time against Brigham Young, including a 2-0 mark as Virginia's head coach.
His 1978 Navy squad downed the Cougars 23-16 in the 1978 Holiday Bowl.
Two Coaching Greats Meet
This game features two of the winningest active coaches in the nation - Virginia's George Welsh and Brigham Young's Lavell Edwards. Welsh is in his 28th season as a collegiate head coach and has compiled a 183-126-4 overall record, including a 128-80-3 record in 18 seasons at UVa. Edwards is in his 29th and final season and has a 251-96-3 overall record.
Edwards is seventh in NCAA Division I-A history in wins, while Welsh is 27th all-time. Welsh's next victory will tie him with former Texas coach Darrell Royal and Ohio State's John Cooper for 25th all-time.
Cavaliers Kick Off Another Campaign
The Cavaliers open their 111th season of play this Saturday against Brigham Young in the dedication game at the newly expanded Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.
This is the first time since 1997 that Virginia has opened at home. Oddly, in George Welsh's 19 years at the helm of the Virginia program, his teams have opened on the road more often than at home (10 away, 9 home).
Under Welsh the Cavaliers are 10-8 in season openers. All-time Virginia is 73-28-9 in season openers.
This is, obviously, also the season's home opener. Virginia is 80-23-7 (.759) all-time in home openers, including 45-20-4 (.681) in Scott Stadium openers (please note the Scott Stadium opener in 1931 was not the home opener that season). George Welsh's squads are 15-3 in home openers since 1982.
Non-conference Home Opener
This is the first time since 1997 that the Cavaliers are opening their season at home and the sixth time they have opened at home against a non-conference opponent under head coach George Welsh.
Virginia has fared well when opening at home with a non-conference opponent, winning four of five under Welsh.
The Cavaliers opened the 1985 (VMI), 1986 (South Carolina), 1988 (William & Mary) and 1996 (Central Michigan) seasons with wins, but lost the 1997 opener to Auburn.
One of the trends that has characterized Virginia's wins in these games is its ability to establish a ground game.
In the four wins mentioned above, the Cavaliers had a 100-yard rusher, while in the 1997 loss to Auburn the leading rusher gained just 70 yards.
Further evidence of the importance of a 100-yard rusher is shown by the fact that every win at home over a non-conference opponent since 1995 (seven games in all) has featured at least one Cavalier with 100 yards. The win over William & Mary in 1994 was the last time UVa defeated a non-conference team at home without a 100-yard rusher.
At Home vs. Non-Conference Opponents
This is the first of two consecutive non-conference home games for Virginia this season.
Since 1987, Auburn, Penn State and Virginia Tech are the only non-conference schools to win in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers have won 23 of their last 28 non-conference games at home going back to 1987. The only losses since then are to Penn State in 1988, Virginia Tech in 1993, 1995 and 1999, and Auburn in 1997. In George Welsh's 18 years at Virginia, his teams are 31-10 (.756) against non-conference teams at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.
During Welsh's career at UVa, his teams are 30-5 at home against unranked non-conference teams. Virginia hasn't lost at home to an unranked non-conference team since 1986 (William & Mary).
The West Comes East
Brigham Young is fourth team from west of the Mississippi River to travel to Charlottesville and all have come in the last 10 years. The western teams haven't found Charlottesville to be very pleasant for visitors and Virginia has won every game against western teams.
Kansas was the first school from west of the Mississippi to come to Charlottesville. The Jayhawks lost 31-19 in 1991.
In 1996 Virginia sent #13 Texas back to Austin with a 37-13 loss. Two years ago Virginia defeated San Jose State, the only team from California to play in Charlottesville, 52-14.
It is interesting to note that Virginia had at least one 100-yard rusher in each game and that's a trend head coach George Welsh would like to see continue.
Terry Kirby led all ballcarriers with 107 yards in the win over Kansas, while Tiki Barber outgained 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Texas' Ricky Williams 121 to 44 in their 1996 matchup.
Two Cavaliers topped the century mark in 1998's win over San Jose State. All-time leading rusher Thomas Jones dashed for 203 yards, while Antwoine Womack rushed for 142 more.
UVa in Elite Company
Virginia enters this season as one of only four Division I-A programs in the country which has posted at least 13 consecutive seasons of seven or more wins.
UVa joins Florida State as the only other Atlantic Coast Conference team to accomplish that feat. The other two schools are Nebraska from the Big 12 and Big Ten power Michigan.
Thweatt is Rare Four-Year Starter
All-America candidate linebacker Byron Thweatt looks to bounce back from an injury plagued fall in 2000. Hampered with an injured shoulder in 1999 that limited his effectiveness, Thweatt's value to the team became evident when he wasn't able to take a break.
Currently 15th in school history with 262 tackles, he has a good shot at completing his career in the top five now that he's back in good health.
It is also interesting to note that he is likely to become just the fifth linebacker in school history to be a four-year starter since freshman eligibility was restored in 1972. The short list currently includes Bryan Hollomon, Charles McDaniel, Jamie Sharper and Russ Swan.
The list of players who have been four-year starters at Virginia for George Welsh include WRs Demetrius “Pete” Allen and Tyrone Davis, Ps Will Brice and Jeff Walker, OG Roy Brown, DT Ron Carey, OT Jim Dombrowski, DEs Mike Frederick and Chris Slade, Ss Tyrone Lewis and Keith McMeans, LBs McDaniel, Sharper and Swan, and C Tim Morris.
Harris to Get Opening Nod
Sophomore tailback Arlen Harris is expected to get his first career start in the opener vs. Brigham Young.
He is the team's leading returning rusher from 1999 when he ran for 112 yards in back-up duty behind All-American Thomas Jones.
This is the fewest yards for a returning UVa tailback starting a season since 1986 when Chris Warren won the starting job for the opener against South Carolina. Warren played cornerback the season before as a true freshman.
Harris' career high was a 58-yard effort against N.C. State in the season's seventh game, but his time was limited after that due to an injury that caused him to miss two of the final four games.
Interestingly his second-best effort was a 25-yard performance against Brigham Young.
He seems well suited to be the heir apparent to Jones after rushing for 101 yards on just 10 carries in Virginia's first preseason scrimmage on Aug. 17.
Virginia features two other tailbacks with a good amount of experience after Harris. Junior Antwoine Womack returns after a year away from the program to give the offense an explosive presence. Womack was a second-team All-ACC selection two years ago when he rushed for 708 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
Junior Tyree Foreman to gives UVa a third capable back. He closed the year strong last season in Harris' place, rushing for 97 yards.
Kicking Game Features One New, One Old Face
For the second time in three years, Virginia's starting place-kicker and punter have had to be replaced. However, unlike 1998 when Todd Braverman (PK) and Donnie Scott (P) had never played in a game before, the Cavaliers kicking specialists this season both have varying amounts of game experience.
Junior David Greene will assume all the place-kicking duties this season. He has served as the team's kickoff specialist the last two seasons and has recorded 40 touchbacks on 132 kickoffs. Greene filled in for an injured Braverman in the Maryland game last season and boomed field goals of 42 and 43 yards. He also was true on five of six extra point attempts in 1999.
Junior Mike Abrams is penciled in as the punter. He has yet to punt in a college game, but he lettered last season as a special teams performer and reserve tight end. So while his game experience is different than his expected role this season, he has a feel for the game.
First-Time Starters Dot Line-Up
As happens with every team every year, the Cavaliers will have several first-time starters this year. Virginia has to replace 10 starters from a year ago, including three members from the secondary.
Among the players expected to make their first career start against Brigham Young are tailback Arlen Harris, center Dustin Keith, wide receiver Billy McMullen, defensive end Merrill Robertson and defensive tackle George Stanley. Offensive tackle Jermese Jones could be added to the list. He is currently battling Josh Lawson for the starting nod.
The starting line-up also features several players with fewer than 10 career starts including linebacker Angelo Crowell (1), cornerback Ahmad Hawkins (all nine of his starts have come at wide receiver), safety Shernard Newby (2) and fullback Patrick Washington (7).
Linebacker Byron Thweatt is by far the team leader in starts. He has started all 35 games in his career and is bidding to become one of the few four-year starters at linebacker in school history.
Ellis Looks to Continue Hot Streak
Quarterback Dan Ellis was one of the hottest quarterbacks in the nation during the last two weeks of last season and very quietly put together an excellent season in his first year as the starting signal caller. His blazing finish enabled him to finish eighth in the nation in passing efficiency, the highest finish by a UVa quarterback since Bobby Goodman also finished eighth in 1992.
Ellis set a school record and tied the ACC record with six touchdown passes against Buffalo in the final home game and then added four scoring tosses the next week against Maryland to become just the second player in ACC history to throw as many as 10 touchdown passes in a two-game span (Maryland's Scott Milanovich did it in 1993).
He completed 60.5 percent of his attempts, the third-highest mark in school history, while his 20 touchdown tosses missed the school record by one.
Ellis is also gaining a reputation for dramatic last-minute victories (ALA John Elway) after guiding the Cavaliers to road wins over North Carolina and Maryland last season.
Virginia's Secondary is Very Young
Of prime concern to defensive coordinator Rick Lantz this season is the shape of the secondary. With just one returning starter - sophomore safety Jerton Evans - things look dicey at first glance for Virginia's last line of defense.
The corners are expected to be manned by seniors Ahmad Hawkins and Tim Spruill.
No stranger to defensive backs, Hawkins switched from wide receiver to cornerback in the spring. His knowledge of playing wide receiver certainly gives him some insight into the mind of receivers.
Spruill was a starter two years ago and started six games last season in what proved to be an up-and-down campaign. Still he's the team's most experienced defensive back and his leadership will be needed to bring stability to the secondary.
Evans, a freshman All-American last fall, started the final 10 games of the season and led the team with four interceptions. Despite being just a second-year player, he is the most experienced safety on the roster.
Sophomore Shernard Newby is expected to start at the other safety spot. He played in every game last season as a redshirt freshman and started twice. One of his starts came in the Micronpc.com Bowl against Illinois.
The back-ups are a talented, but very inexperienced, group. Among the top reserves only sophomore Rashad Roberson has seen action from scrimmage in the last year, and his duty was very limited.
Junior Devon Simmons was a key reserve at safety two years ago, but he did not play last season for personal reasons. A relative "old-timer" among the safeties, he should be a key performer this season.
Red-shirt freshman Ryan Sawyer and true freshman Jamaine Winborne should also see duty at safety early on in an effort to build some depth.
True freshmen Almondo Curry and Art Thomas are listed among the top back-ups at cornerback along with Roberson.
Review of UVa's First Scrimmage
Tailback Arlen Harris rushed for 101 yards to highlight the Cavaliers' first preseason scrimmage on Aug. 17.
Harris had 10 carries during the scrimmage and gained more than half of his yards on a 53-yard burst.
Jonathan Ward rushed for 48 yards and two scores, while Marquis Weeks ran for 38. Dan Ellis scored two touchdowns on the ground, while Tyree Foreman and Bryson Spinner added one each.
Foreman and Kase Luzar caught two passes apiece to tie for receiving honors.
Placekicker David Greene connected on field goals of 19, 37 and 40 yards.
Linebackers William Clark and Raymond Mann led the defensive effort with eight tackles, including one behind the line, apiece. Middle linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle had seven tackles, including one for lost yardage, while Angelo Crowell was in on six stops. Defensive back Tim Spruill had an interception and also blocked a field goal.
Recap of Final Preseason Scrimmage
Wide receivers Demetrius Dotson and Billy McMullen each had more than 100 yards receiving to highlight a UVa's final preseason scrimmage on Aug 23.
Dotson was the leading receiver with 125 aerial yards and a touchdown, while McMullen contributed 116 yards. Kase Luzar added 71 yards, including a 16-yard scoring play.
Tailback Antwoine Womack rushed 13 times for a scrimmage-leading 97 yards. Quarterback Bryson Spinner added 49 yards on the ground, while freshman tailback Jonathan Ward added 47 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Dan Ellis threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
Placekicker David Greene was true on both of his field goal attempts - from 24 and 34 yards.
Linebacker Byron Thweatt led the defensive effort with nine tackles, including six solo stops. He had one quarterback sack and also broke up a pass. Linebackers Rich Bedesem, Angelo Crowell and Donny Green all had eight tackles apiece. Safeties Shernard Newby and Devon Simmons, and cornerback Art Thomas were in on seven tackles each. Newby and cornerback Tim Spruill each broke up three passes.
ACC Media See Cavaliers Third
Virginia was selected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season by media representatives attending the annual ACC Football Kickoff at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., on July 24-25.
This marks the third year in a row the Cavaliers have been picked to finish third by the Kickoff attendees. The prognosticators have done a good job with their choices for UVa recently. Last season the Cavaliers tied Georgia Tech for second place, while in 1998 UVa finished third.
The predicted conference standings for 2000 look like this (first-place votes in parenthesis):
|1.||Florida State (74)||666|
Five Cavaliers Return as Graduate Students
Five members of Virginia's 2000 football team are expected to participate this fall as graduate students. The group includes: offensive tackle Brad Barnes, wide receiver Kevin Coffey, center Dustin Keith, linebacker Byron Thweatt and fullback Patrick Washington.
Barnes and Keith received their undergraduate degrees in sociology, while Coffey and Thweatt earned their degrees in history and Washington in economics.
The UVa program has had approximately 70 players participate as graduate students over the past 11 seasons.
Projected National and Conference Finish
Several publications have made their predictions about the upcoming season and most see the Cavaliers finishing in the first division of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings again this season. The most popular prediction is a third place finish in the conference.
The Cavaliers were also generally picked to finish third last season, but they tied Georgia Tech for second with a 5-3. The Cavaliers haven't finished lower than fourth in the league since 1986 when they tied for sixth.
Football Hall of Fame Debuts
Representing the most comprehensive collection of Cavalier gridiron memorabilia ever assembled, the History of Virginia Football Exhibit - featuring the Hall of Fame - will open this fall at the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium.
Located on the second level of Bryant Hall at the Carl Smith Center, the exhibit starts in the main lobby and flows into three other rooms: the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Champions and the Football Alumni rooms.
Statues honoring UVa's Pro and College Football Hall of Famers will be prominently displayed in the lobby area. There will be additional displays recognizing Virginia's first-team All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and retired numbers, and a wall honoring the football stadium's major benefactors.
Open to the public, the Hall of Fame will showcase the program's rise to national prominence toward the end of the 20th century. The room will also contain two interactive video kiosks, featuring footage of UVa greats Bill Dudley, Anthony Poindexter and Thomas Jones, and highlights from UVa's 1989 ACC championship season, Virginia's historic victory over Florida State in 1995, and the Cavaliers' comeback win over Virginia Tech in 1998. Other video features will be added on a regular basis. A third video kiosk will be located in the lobby area.
The Hall of Champions and the Football Alumni room will be reserved for special Athletic Department and University-related functions. Both rooms will contain photographs and other memorabilia chronicling the history of Virginia football since its first official season in 1888.
The master plan for the History of Virginia Football Exhibit was developed by Design/Joe Sonderman, Inc. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the company specializes in product, graphic, museum and environmental design. It developed a similar football exhibit for the University of North Carolina in 1997.
Many of the photographs and others items featured in the exhibits were donated by former UVa players and by various other friends and fans of the Cavalier football program.
Welsh Seventh Among Active Wins Leaders
Head coach George Welsh, tabbed by The Sporting News as the nation's best coach two years ago, is seventh in wins among active Division I-A coaches entering the 2000 season.
Entering his 28th season as a collegiate head coach, Welsh has won 183 games at Navy (1973-81) and Virginia (1982-present), 27th in NCAA Division I-A history. He is the winningest coach in the history of both schools. Arizona's Dick Toomey (Arizona, Hawaii) is the only other coach to be the winningest coach at two different schools.
Welsh's overall career record is 183-126-4 (.591).
The dean of ACC coaches, Welsh is the only coach in league history to win at least 100 games. He has a 128-80-3 record in 18 seasons at Virginia. His 80 wins in ACC games is also a record.
ACC's Longest Scoring Streak
Virginia has scored in an ACC and school-record 188 consecutive games. The last time Virginia was held scoreless was a 55-0 loss to Clemson to open the 1984 season. During the streak, UVa has scored in 94 consecutive home games, 82 consecutive road games and 12 straight neutral site contests.
Virginia's streak is also the longest current streak by an ACC school (including Florida State) and tied for the fourth longest in the nation.
A list of the longest streaks in the nation is below.
Eleven Starters Return in '00
Head coach George Welsh and his staff welcomed back 41 lettermen, including 11 starters, when upperclassmen reported on Aug. 10.
Six starters from last season return on offense, while just five return on defense. Neither of the team's starting kicking specialists return in 2000.
This is UVa's smallest list of returning starters since nine returned in 1997. In Welsh's 19 years at Virginia, it's only the fourth time he has had fewer than 13 starters return from the previous season. (Only nine returned in 1986 and '91).
Returning starters on offense include tight end Billy Baber, tackle Brad Barnes, wide receiver Kevin Coffey, quarterback Dan Ellis, guard/tackle Josh Lawson and guard Evan Routzahn. Ahmad Hawkins, a starter at wide receiver last season, has been moved to cornerback and isn't listed as a returning starter because of the radical nature of his position switch.
Defensive starters returning include safety Jerton Evans, linebackers Yubrenal Isabelle and Byron Thweatt, tackle Monsanto Pope and end Ljubomir Stamenich.
Despite the fact that both kicking specialists from last season were lost due to graduation, the kicking game doesn't have the void one might expect.
David Greene has served as UVa's kickoff specialist the last two years and stands to inherit all the placekicking duties this season. He connected on field goals of 42 and 43 yards in the regular season finale vs. Maryland.
Mike Abrams, projected as this season's punter, has never punted in a game on the collegiate level, but he has game experience since he lettered last season playing primarily on special teams.
According to a survey of all 115 division I-A programs by Sports Illustrated, Virginia is tied for 16th-fewest returnees in the country. The magazine, which actually credited UVa with 12 returning starters, listed the Cavaliers among 12 schools with 12. If you exclude Hawkins, the Cavaliers become tied for 11th in the nation.
A look at the teams with the fewest returnees is below.
|San Diego St.||10|
|17.||11 schools with||12|
Youngest Team in a While
This season's squad is perhaps the youngest Cavalier team in some time. The roster features only four players (Billy Baber, Ahmad Hawkins, Byron Thweatt, Patrick Washington) who have lettered three times, while the current depth chart lists only eight other seniors.
Conversely, there are six true freshmen listed on the defensive depth chart and one on the offensive. In addition, the depth chart shows a total of eight red-shirt freshmen and 12 sophomores giving the Cavaliers a total of 27 freshmen or sophomores who could be big contributors this season.
Offensive Line Must Replace Two All-Americans
Last season consensus All-American tailback Thomas Jones had the luxury of running behind one of the best offensive lines in school history. But this season, Arlen Harris and company will not have the benefit of All-Americans Noel LaMontagne and John St. Clair, who graduated and moved on to the NFL.
Nonetheless, the line should be a strength for this year's offense. Right tackle Brad Barnes and left guard/tackle Josh Lawson headline the returnees. Both are considered among the best at their positions in the ACC. Barnes was named the team's most improved last season, his first as a starter. Lawson is a two-year starter who is expected to move from left tackle to left guard this season to make way for Jermese Jones.
Jones, the team's biggest player, missed last season due to injury, but he has unlimited potential. If he can stay healthy, his presence will be a boost for the line.
Fifth-year player Dustin Keith moves into the center spot vacated by St. Clair. He spent the last two years at tackle, but was moved to center in the spring (after spending a brief amount of time at defensive tackle).
Evan Routzahn returns to the right guard spot next to Barnes. An underrated performer, Routzahn is a powerful blocker who rarely comes out of the game.
Junior Jared Woodson, a local product from Western Albemarle High School, has experience at both guard (four starts last season) and center. He could find himself at the left guard spot if Jones isn't able to go, forcing Lawson to move back to tackle.
The reserves are a very inexperienced group. Only sophomore Mike Mullins (seven games) has ever appeared in a game. The rest of the back-ups are red-shirt freshmen - T Kevin Bailey, G Ben Carber, C Jay Green and T Micah Kimball.
Taking a Look at the Schedule
The Cavaliers' 2000 schedule features six games against teams that went bowling last season. Three of those teams also won conference championships last season (Brigham Young, Florida State, Virginia Tech). Only Virginia and San Jose State play three games this season against defending conference champions.
Three of UVa's foes are ranked in the Associated Press' preseason poll (Florida State #2, Virginia Tech #11 and Clemson #17).
Virginia's schedule includes games against both combatants in last season's national championship match-up
A Look Back
at Last Season's Meeting
VIRGINIA 45, Brigham Young 40
Sept. 25 - Provo, Utah
Tailback Thomas Jones rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Dan Ellis threw for 190 yards and three TDs in Virginia's dramatic 45-40 win over 17th-ranked Brigham Young.
Safety Jerton Evans intercepted a fourth-and-goal pass by Kevin Feterik in the end zone with 1:37 left to preserve UVa's victory.
Brigham Young began its final possession from its own 11 with 8:03 remaining after forcing UVa to punt. The Cougars drove deep into Cavalier territory, reaching the eight-yard line with 2:57 on the clock before a holding penalty pushed them back to the 16. Virginia limited BYU to five yards on its next three plays, setting the stage for Evans' game-saving interception.
Virginia took the opening kickoff and marched downfield, capping the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dan Ellis to Anthony Southern. Seventeen seconds later, Tim Spruill intercepted a pass at the UVa 49 to set up a 25-yard scoring strike from Ellis to Kevin Coffey. Jones added a 23-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter following Evans' first interception of the game.
Jones sprinted 45 yards for another score to put UVa up 28-6 midway through the second quarter, but BYU answered with two touchdowns to pull within 28-19 at the half.
Virginia extended its lead to 35-19 when Spruill scooped up a BYU fumble on the second play of the third quarter and raced 20 yards to paydirt. The Cougars later sandwiched a pair of Feterik touchdown passes around a 46-yard field goal by UVa's Todd Braverman, closing UVa's lead to 38-33.
Virginia added a five-yard toss from Ellis to Billy Baber to go ahead 45-33 late in the third quarter.
Brigham Young accounted for the game's final score when an errant 19-yard pass by Feterik caromed off a Virginia defender in the end zone and into the hands of Carlos Nuno for a touchdown with 10:54 left to play.
Yubrenal Isabelle led UVa's defensive effort with 14 tackles, while Evans intercepted two passes.
SCORING SUMMARY and STATISTICS
|Virginia|| 21|| 7|| 17||0||45|
UVa - Southern 15 pass from Ellis (Braverman Kick), 10:27
UVa - Coffey 25 pass from Ellis (Braverman kick), 6:43
UVa - Jones 23 run (Braverman kick), 1:11
BYU - Staley 2 run (kick blocked), 7:17
UVa - Jones 45 run (Braverman kick), 5:02
BYU - Staley 41 run (pass failed), 3:17
BYU - Gray 28 interception return (Pochman kick), 1:47
UVa - Spruill 20 fumble return (Braverman kick), 14:12
BYU - Hooks 30 pass from Feterik (Pochman kick), 13:40
UVa - Braverman 46 FG, 9:15
BYU - Horton 8 pass from Feterik (Pochman kick), 7:06
UVa - Baber 5 pass from Ellis (Braverman kick), 1:51
BYU - Nuno 19 pass from Feterik (Pochman kick), 10:54
Attendance - 65,453
Rushing - UVa, Jones 35-210, Harris 7-25, Southern 4-8, Ellis 9-(-1). BYU, Staley 8-79, Tahi 5-42, Sitake 2-21, Feterik 6-18, Dabney 2-11, Donny 1-3, Pittman, 1(-2).
Passing - UVa, Ellis 14-18-1-190, Jones 0-1-0-0. BYU, Feterik 28-47-3-303.
Receiving - UVa, Baber 4-34, Southern 3-35, Dotson 2-55, Coffey 1-25, Mason 1-13, Hawkins 1-11, McMullen 1-10, Jones 1-7. BYU, Horton 6-45, Hooks 5-92, Nuno 4-48, Ofahengaue 4-41, Atuaia 3-35, Staley 3-10, Westbrook 2-16, Pittman 1-16.