By: Darrell Owens
Headline Photo Credit: Virginia Athletics
The Virginia Cavaliers (2-1) take a trip to New York last Friday to clash with the Syracuse Orangemen (3-0). The Cavaliers have struggled offensively to start the 2022 season. We are used to seeing Virginia’s high-powered offense the last couple of seasons under Bronco Mendenhall. Mendenhall retired last season, and Virginia’s new head coach Tony Elliott is still trying to find a way to get the offense going. While Coach Elliott is trying to find a way to get UVA’s offense back on track, the defense has stepped up big time over the first couple of weeks. Virginia linebacker Nick Jackson was hoping to help his defense put a clamp on Syracuse. But that would be a little harder than anyone with think.
Syracuse jumped out to an early 16-0 lead in this contest. A Garrett Shrader 17-yard touchdown run & three Andre Szmyt (26,32,28 yards) field goals gave Syracuse that early lead at halftime. In the second half, Virginia would mount their comeback. Getting the party started with a 1-yard touchdown run from Keytaon Thompson making it a 16-7 game in the 3rd quarter. Just 20 seconds later, UVA would find a way to score again this time Perris Jones with a 4-yard run, unfortunately, the extra point would be blocked so the score would be 16-13 with 9:26 left in the 3rd quarter. Before the end of the third quarter, Syracuse would tack on another Andre Szmyt field goal (40 yards) to make this a 19-13 game. As we head to the fourth, Virginia was able to take their first lead of the contest with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brennan Armstrong to Lavel Davis Jr. giving Virginia a 20-19 lead with 5:51 left in the game. But Syracuse would have the last laugh as Andre Szmyt would put in his 5th field goal of the day (31 yards) to give Syracuse a last-minute victory 22-20 over Virginia to move to 4-0 on the season.
Virginia (2-2) will travel to Durham, North Carolina this weekend to take on Duke (3-1) at 7:30 pm. Can UVA get back over .500 for the season will find out then