Greg’s Grades 2018: Belk Bowl

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Virginia finished 8-5.
Chris Peace and the Virginia defense locked down South Carolina. ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

In its most dominant postseason performance ever, the Virginia football team shut out South Carolina for the first time ever in the Gamecocks’ bowl game history. Virginia’s 28-point margin of victory was the most ever for Virginia in a bowl game as well, and tied for the largest margin in a loss in USC’s 23 bowl contests. Yes, UVA’s 28-0 romp was that good.

Virginia’s defense posted championship level grades across the board and the offense just missed hitting the mark by 2.2 points.

I might get some grief for this but, while Olamide Zaccheaus certainly was deserving of the MVP Award, I’ve got say, Virginia’s secondary was a very, very close second.

Still, Zachheaus will leave UVA not only among the best to ever play wide receiver in Charlottesville, but as a player that was integral to bringing winning football back to Virginia under Bronco Mendenhall. In that sense, his final game at Virginia was a fitting send-off.

Zaccheaus hauled in 12 catches, three for scores, extending his active streak with a reception to 42 games while setting a UVA bowl record for receptions and receiving touchdowns. With his 100 receiving yards, Zaccheaus became only the third Cavalier to accumulate 1,000+ receiving yards in a season. His career ends leaving the Pennsylvania native as the No. 3 all-time in single-season receiving yards with 1,058, No. 6 in ACC history with 250 career receptions and fourth all-time at UVA with 22 receiving touchdowns.

UVA’s offense had some more highlights as well. The run game posted its fifth, 200-yard