Jameel Sewell made some key plays in the win at UNC.
After a disappointing loss to open the season, Virginia has picked up two straight wins against Coastal Division foes. The two ACC wins followed a similar formula: get an early lead, fend off a rally, and come up with enough key plays to prevail. Against North Carolina, some of those important moments were shared by a number of Cavaliers.
The easiest place to start has to be Chris Gould ‘s ‘now you miss it, now you don’t’ field goal in the third quarter. The 48-yard kick narrowly cleared the crossbar and was ruled a miss on the field by officials. UVa challenged the ruling thanks to sideline personnel that insisted the kick was good. It was and the call was overturned.
But the sharp eyes of those Virginia staffers may not have been the biggest plays of the drive. Those came from Jameel Sewell and Tom Santi . Why? Because the drive never would have reached a field goal try if those two players didn’t come up with critical plays early in the 17-play drive.
First, Sewell made a play with his legs on just the third snap of the drive. After Cedric Peerman dropped a screen pass on 2nd-and-4, UVa faced a medium distance conversion try on third down. When Sewell dropped back to pass, he couldn’t find an open option so he tucked the ball and scrambled to this left. It looked like he was about to be stopped short before he slipped between defenders to gain five yards and the first down.
Four plays later, it was Santi’s turn to keep the drive alive – inadvertently. Thanks to a protection breakdown to his blindside, Sewell didn’t see Hilee Taylor track him down from behind and deliver a blow that dislodged the football. The ball settled on the field and it looked like UNC would recover the turnover in Cavalier territory. That’s when Santi dove in and popped the ball clear of the Tar Heels where Sewell recovered. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that grew out of fighting...
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