Four Things That Made the Difference

Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /data/www/ on line 125
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Wali Lundy scored his first touchdown of the season.

As thrilling as Saturday night’s win was for the Wahoos and their fans, it was also a little perplexing. Why haven’t they played like that all season? Why did it take six games for Virginia to perform up to its potential? What was the difference between this incredible outing and the five duds that preceded it?

Well, to me there were four big factors: better health, more guts, extra emotion and a magnificent Marques Hagans. Let’s take those one at a time…

1) Health

D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Ahmad Brooks and Wali Lundy are three of UVa’s best players. Saturday was the first time all three have played in the same game this season. None were 100 percent, but all made their mark. Ferguson locked things down at left tackle, providing solid pass protection. (The same couldn’t be said of the other linemen.) Brooks made four tackles, broke up a pass, pressured Drew Weatherford into an incompletion and otherwise made his presence felt in his first game this season at inside linebacker. (He played against Maryland at OLB.) Lundy ran for just 26 yards but caught a huge 16-yard touchdown pass late in the first half.

The Cavs played without three starters: Brad Butler, Jermaine Dias and Chris Cook . But those guys aren’t stars. Finally, Virginia was able to take the field with all of its marquee players. Not only does that provide an infusion of talent, it generates confidence. At full strength (or close to it), the ‘Hoos should be able to compete with anybody in the ACC. They proved that last night.

2) Guts

The Cavaliers started the game with a double-reverse pass by Emmanuel Byers . They later tried a Wali Lundy throwback pass to Marques Hagans and another pass by Byers. None of those trick plays worked, but they sent a message. As Brian Barthlelmes