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Pair of late Wake TDs spoils Cavalier rally in 40-23 defeat

By Scott Ratcliffe

Wayne Taulapapa (Photos: UVA Athletics)

After another slow start, Virginia rallied back and was in a tie game in the fourth quarter before Wake Forest scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes, and the Demon Deacons held on for a 40-23 win Saturday in Winston-Salem.

The loss was the third in a row for the Cavaliers (1-3, 1-3 ACC), who used three different players at quarterback — senior starter Lindell Stone, Mississippi State junior transfer Keytaon Thompson and true freshman Ira Armstead — in the comeback effort that ultimately fell short.

The Wahoos tied the contest at 23 just over a minute into the fourth quarter on Brian Delaney’s third field goal of the day, and all the momentum was on the Cavalier sideline. Things quickly went downhill from there.

Just one play, 14 seconds and 75 yards later, Wake’s Kenneth Walker III rumbled past the UVA defense and all the way down the sideline to the house to put the Deacons (2-2, 1-2) ahead to stay with 13:14 on the clock.

On the ensuing kickoff, Virginia’s Perris Jones coughed up the ball onto the turf and into the hands of the Deacs. A few plays later, Walker scored his third touchdown of the day — this one from 9 yards out — and just like that, what was a tie ballgame not even two minutes prior was back to a two-score deficit for the Hoos, 37-23.

Virginia’s defense recovered from a few first-quarter miscues to get back to even, but gave up too many big plays on the day that led to Wake points, none bigger than Walker’s long, go-ahead touchdown run.

Stone got the majority of the passing work (24 of 42 for 193 yards) filling in for the injured Brennan Armstrong, but rotated in and out with both Thompson and Armstead throughout the contest. Thompson didn’t throw a pass, but was extremely effective with his legs, leading the Hoos in rushing with 71 yards on 10 carries.

Armstead added 46 yards rushing on six carries and his first collegiate touchdown, while completing 1 of his 3 passes for 9 yards.

However, Wake’s ‘explosive plays’ — both in the opening moments and late in the contest — were the story of the game. 

The Deacons scored twice in the game’s first four minutes. The Hoos gave up a 40-yard Sam Hartman touchdown toss to AT Perry, then moments later, a 49-yard Hartman pass to Jaquarii Roberson set up a 3-yard Walker score — and UVA found itself in an early hole again, down 14-0 with still 11:16 on the first-quarter clock.

Delaney’s 32-yard field goal with 6:59 left in the period marked the Cavaliers’ first first-quarter points in 2020.

Ira Armstead

Armstead’s 4-yard run into the end zone on the first play of the second quarter cut the Wake lead to 14-10.

The Deacs converted on a crucial fourth-and-seven to keep their ensuing drive going, advancing to the UVA 9-yard line on the play. De’Vante Cross, who was beat on that fourth-down conversion, redeemed himself a few plays later on a third-and-goal from the 14, knocking down a pass to force a 32-yard Nick Sciba field goal, and Wake led 17-10 with 12:35 until the break.

Delaney booted home his school-record 17th straight field goal on Virginia’s next possession, a 29-yarder that trimmed the Wake lead to 17-13 with 8:26 left in the half.

Wake responded, as Sciba put through his second field goal of the day after the UVA defense held on a third-and-goal from the 7, and it was 20-13 with just over five minutes left in the half.

A Wake personal foul on Virginia’s next drive placed the ball on the Deacons’ 27, then a Stone pass to Terrell Jana got the Hoos inside the red zone. With 1:49 left in the half, Wayne Taulapapa capped it off with a 15-yard touchdown run around the right side to tie the game at 20-20.

The game remained tied until Sciba put home a 38-yarder with 26 seconds left in the third quarter. Delaney missed from 36 yards out with 5:25 left in the period, snapping his record streak of makes, but then made one from 42 with 13:28 remaining to tie it at 23-apiece before the late Wake flurry.

Virginia posted 420 total yards — 218 rushing, 202 passing — but gave up 483 to the Deacons, including 309 through the air. The Wahoo defense had held the Deacs to just 77 rushing yards on the day prior to the 75-yard Walker touchdown in the fourth quarter, as he nearly doubled the team’s ground output in one play. Wake finished with 174 rushing yards; Walker had 128 of them.

Jowon Briggs

Hartman completed 16 of his 27 pass attempts and still has yet to throw an interception this season. Roberson led the Deacs with 126 receiving yards on just 7 grabs, with Donavon Greene adding 73 yards on 4 catches.

For the Hoos, Taulapapa added 68 yards on 10 carries, while Shane Simpson chipped in with 5 carries for 24 yards. Billy Kemp IV hauled in 9 catches for 68 yards, both team highs, and rushed twice for 12 yards.

Defensively, outside linebackers Charles Snowden and Noah Taylor each looked more effective, as Snowden posted 8 tackles (tied with Zane Zandier for the team high), while Taylor added four stops (two for loss, including a sack). Second-year nose tackle Jowon Briggs recorded a pair of sacks as well.

UVA travels to Miami next Saturday at 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

Teams Notes

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

  • Virginia’s losing streak to Wake Forest extends to four games, the longest in series history. Three of those four losses have come at Truist Field. Prior to the current losing streak at Truist Field, UVA was 15-1 at the venue.
  • With 218 rushing yards, UVA rushed for 200+ yards in the game for the eighth time since the start of the 2018 season. It was the first time against an ACC opponent since the 2018 UNC game.

Player Notes

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

  • WR Billy Kemp IV recorded nine receptions. He now has 36 through the first four games of the season, which is the most in program history for a Cavalier through the first four games of the year. 
  • QB Lindell Stone made his first career start. With 193 passing yards, he became the 22nd Cavalier in program history to throw for 150+ yards in his first career start. 
  • PK Brian Delaney was 2-of-3 on field goal attempts. His miss from 36 yards in the third snapped his school record streak at 17.
  • WR Terrell Jana finished with four receptions, extending his active streak with at least one catch to 20 games.
  • With 48 receiving yards, Jana has moved into No. 24 on UVA’s all-time receiving list. He passed Tim Finkleston (1,279), the father of UVA long snapper Tucker Finkleston. Jana now has 1,301 for his career.
  • QB Iraken Armstead rushed for his first career touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. The score went for four yards. Armstead rushed for a career-high 46 yards.
  • NT Jowon Briggs notched a career-high 2.0 sacks.
  • TE Tony Poljan finished with four receptions, extending his active streak to 17 games, which started while he was at Central Michigan.

NOTE: check back for more stats, notes and quotes throughout the evening.


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