Greg’s Game Grades: Virginia 31, Western Michigan 19

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For many Cavaliers, Saturday’s win over Western Michigan represented their first experience in a college football game. Because of that, it’s understandable that the performance fell a long way short of perfection. But we don’t grade on a curve around here. We evaluate each position along with special teams and the coaching staff, giving out mostly B’s but also a few C-minuses.

Quarterback (B-)

Marques Hagans

There was good and bad in Marques Hagans’ performance Saturday, but certainly more good than bad. Let’s start with the bad: two interceptions. The first came on a screen pass where it appeared Hagans never saw the defender. On the second, safety C.J. Wilson appeared to bait Hagans into making a bad read on a play UVa had used several times already in the first half. Both picks were costly. One came deep in WMU territory and the second was run back for a touchdown.

The Cavaliers struggled on third down, converting just 3 of 11 opportunities. Hagans was directly involved with eight of those attempts. He threw a touchdown pass on Virginia’s first drive on third-and-goal, completed a 13-yard pass to Deyon Williams on a third-and-9 and threw a seven-yard completion on a third-and-11. He also was sacked on one attempt, had a pass dropped and a completed pass fumbled, and threw an incomplete pass to Tom Santi on the final play of the first half. The biggest third-down conversion for Hagans came on the last scoring drive, when he scrambled 12 yards on third-and-8.

The short to medium passing game was steady and the vertical game was encouraging with a 57-yard shot to Ottowa Anderson and a 40-yard connection to Williams. Virginia averaged an impressive 10.1 yards per attempt. While Hagans had minus-11 yards rushing, thanks