Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall is a no-nonsense, self-described perfectionist when it comes to the football field. That doesn’t mean he won’t smile sometimes, though it usually doesn’t happen in the heat of competition, when someone nails an assignment.
The win at Pittsburgh in the opener Saturday produced one of those moments.
UVA had just taken the lead again early in the third quarter thanks to a Brian Delaney field goal that made it 16-14 with 11:54 to go in the third quarter. That’s when linebacker Matt Gahm made sure there wouldn’t be an immediate response by the Panthers.
With 11:42 on the clock, Pittsburgh faced a 3rd-and-10 play from its own 25-yard line. The hosts came out in a set with four receivers and a single running back. Quarterback Kenny Pickett took the snap in the shotgun. Three receivers were to the right side of the formation outside the hash marks, while a solo receiver began alone on the numbers on the left side.
Virginia countered with a 2-4-5 defensive package that initially put five players near the line of scrimmage. Both safeties were high in the alignment about 10 yards off the line of...
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