If the games against UNC and Duke were examples of complementary football, Friday’s 23-13 loss to Pitt was diametrically the opposite. Virginia’s offensive and defensive operations combined for an average 65.3 overall grade and while the special teams graded out well, only the punting unit was able to dramatically alter field position.
In losing to the Panthers for the fourth consecutive season, UVA’s offense sputtered, ending the night with its worst total offense and rushing offense performances of the season. Special teams were solid but not game-changing as they had been the last few weeks. Virginia lost the field position battle for the first time this season (tied Indiana) and the 12th time since Bronco Mendenhall took over the program. Virginia is 1-11 in those games.
Defensively, the Cavaliers struggled with gap integrity and discipline, and the front found little help in the defensive backfield where corners and safeties were not angle or tackling sound. There was no cavalry to bail a flailing unit out of trouble and whether it’s UVA or Alabama, no offense, defense, or special teams unit can win a game on their own.
Most notable, once again in 2018, neither front was a match for the more physical approach of the Pitt offensive and defensive lines.
With that, the grades.
- Top performing unit (non-special teams): Secondary
- Needs work unit
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