Greg’s Grades 2019: Orange Bowl, Final Marks For Virginia

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Virginia won 9 games.
Hasise Dubois put together a strong night in the Orange Bowl. ~ Photo Courtesy Virginia Athletics Media Relations

The final grade report for the 2019 Virginia football season provides a brief recap of the notable trends and observations from the Orange Bowl, special notes from the game and the season, Orange Bowl and final overall unit grades, superlatives, and the “One More Thing” segment looks at Virginia’s success in winning the second half of games. Finally, in the defensive notes we look at how the loss of Bryce Hall and Brenton Nelson impacted the defense in the final half of the season.

The Hoos closed out their best season since 2007 (ironically the same year they shut down the old Orange Bowl with 48-0 drubbing of Miami) with a tough 36-28 loss to the 10th-ranked Florida Gators. Virginia did have a better showing than UF’s 2018 Citrus Bowl opponent, the Michigan Wolverines, who suffered a 41-15 loss to the Gators. A lot of “experts” and the pundits at large expected a similar outcome for Virginia and certainly those that decided to shell out some coin on the outcome were disappointed.

Dress it up however you want. Yes, it was a loss in a game where despite giving up 16 explosive plays to six, throwing a late game interception where a touchdown could have given the Hoos time for magical ending, coach Bronco Mendenhall’s team had chances to win but simply didn’t make enough plays. Gutsy effort? Absolutely.