Greg’s Grades 2020: Clemson

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Virginia's grades are in.
Terrell Jana made a touchdown catch at the end of the first half for UVA. ~ Photo courtesy Virginia Athletics Media Relations

Let’s start with this. While the margin of defeat was less and the Virginia offense scored more points and the Wahoo defense gave up fewer points … the outcome was still a 41-23 loss to the top-ranked Clemson Tigers. Where Virginia players, coaches, and fans can take some solace is that in the ACC Championship, the games was over midway through the third quarter. In 2020, seven Clemson defensive starters were on the field for UVA’s final drive. We’ll look closer at what all this means in the One More Thing segment.

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong upped his play from the Duke game, passing for an additional yard, increased his completion percentage by 2.5%, raised his yards per attempt from 6.0 to 6.3 and his passer rating jumped 12.94%. On top of that, he paced his team rushing with 89 yards. Considering he was starting his second game against one of the top defenses over the last five years in college football, that’s a solid outing that translated to an above average grade.

Some will complain that the QB grade is too low, but the fact is, these numbers – while better than a week ago, against a significant upgrade in the defense – are still average. The other factor in the grade not being higher is that Armstrong’s first interception led to a 36-yard Clemson drive and a field goal and his second, in the red zone, probably cost the Hoos three points and potentially seven.

The passing game held up fairly well against a strong pressing team (10 sacks coming into the game) and solid coverage defense. Wide receivers only caught