Football: Tribe vs. UVA live blog, TRIBE DOWNS UVA

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September 5, 2009

5:06 PM

Tribe vs. UVA live blog:

Postgame: Stay tuned for full postgame coverage.

End of 4th quarter: Chants of “safety school!” and “CAA!” emanate from the Tribe section.

In the waning moments, Virginia has a fourth and 8 at the Tribe 36. The pass falls short and incomplete and R.J. Archer and the Tribe offense will take the field to run out the game clock.

The numbers weren’t pretty for the Tribe offensively, but Laycock’s strategy was to avoid the turnover and the mistake.

Grimes up the middle and the clock runs out.

THE TRIBE HAS BEATEN UVA 26-14. It is the first win over an FBS school for the College since 1998.

2:00, 4th quarter: The stadium has emptied as the Tribe has finished off the Cavaliers, taking a two touchdown lead late in the game. The exception is the Tribe fan sections which is intact, standing and going wild.

A dream performance for B.W. Webb in his first career start: three interceptions, the final one the game clincher. Laycock evidently knew what he was doing in playing conservatively and putting the game in the hands of his defense. Seven forced turnovers later, the College is mopping up the Cav’s in front of a stunned crowd.

The College has held Virginia scoreless since the 7:29 mark of the second quarter, yielding zero red zone trips in that span.

2:39, 4th quarter: B.W. WEBB GETS HIS THIRD INTERCEPTION OF THE NIGHT AND TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE! The redshirt freshman steps in front of a Verica pass and is untouched for 45 yards, finishing right in front of an exploding Tribe fan section.

3:00, 4th quarter: Virginia takes over at their own 40 and the Tribe needs to do one thing: keep the Cav’s out of the end zone. The defense has been dominant all gone and they will have to continue that now.

Two short plays up the middle bring up 3rd and 5. A stop here would be gigantic, although I would have to believe the Cav’s would go for it.

4:00, 4th quarter: A big third and 8 and Laycock chooses to run it again, forgoing the clinching touchdown to set up a field goal to widen the lead. Pate nails it to take the lead to 19-14.

It’s still a long way from being over, though. A Cavalier touchdown would give them the lead and the College seems ill-prepared to answer offensively.

5:00, 4th quarter: With Virginia beginning to threaten for the first time in a long time, the defense comes through with another forced turnover. The College takes over at the UVA 36 after Francks recovers another Verica fumble. A huge play, and the Virginia crowd is starting to stream out of the building.

This game is still a long way from being over and the College needs a touchdown to ice it. Archer gets off to a good start scrambling 23 yards to inside the Cavalier 15.

“Coach Groh needs to go!” shouts a man in front of the press box.

7:00, 4th quarter: Laycck continues to play it safe as the Tribe goes three and out. The offense has fizzled in the second half under ultra-conservative play calling from the sidelines. Laycock is playing to avoid the turnover and the mistake instead of trying to score more. We’ll see whether it pays off.

UVA takes over at their own 20 after another good Miller punt. Two quick takedowns bring up third and six. The Tribe defense continues to play incredibly from top to bottom, there has been nothing open downfield, while the line has gotten pressure on the Cavalier quarterback-du-jour.

On third down, Verica hits a receiver down the sideline for a 15-yard gain on a play the Cavaliers desperately needed.

10:00, 4th quarter: The College stops the Cav’s for three plays, bringing up the play of the game to this point: fourth and inches at midfield. The Tribe d-line lights up the Virginia front and drops Verica in the backfield. Humongous play and the Tribe takes over on downs at midfield. The stadium boos even louder as the Tribe section goes crazy.

11:00, 4th quarter: A three and out for the Tribe now as both teams have done little in this second half offensively. Archer eats it on third and five and it appears that Laycock is content to prevent the turnover and let his defense do the rest. Another booming punt from Miller out of his own end zone gives UVA the ball at their 40. Miller has been fantastic this game.

In a desperate attempt to get something going offensively, Al Groh goes to his third quarterback, junior Marc Verica to start the next series.

13:00, 4th quarter: Laycock told me midweek that he was unsure of what the UVA option consisted of, never having seen it. That response seems unlikely now that the Tribe seems to have figured out exactly what the Cavalier option is. They force another quick three and out, bottling up Sewell for a loss on second down and forcing a lame, one yard gain on third and long. The UVA crowd has turned on their team now, booing vociferously on nearly every busted play. The large and vocal Tribe contingent is getting more rabid by the minute, however, breaking the silence of this depressed stadium.

Tribe ball at their own 12. First and 10.

14:00, 4th quarter: Archer opens the final quarter by throwing a pick downfield on third and 30. However, the ball is caught at midfield, so the end result is virtually identical to that of a punt. Sewell and the Cav’s take over needing a big drive to get back into this game.

End of 3rd quarter: The College is now 15 minutes of gametime away from pulling the biggest upset in years. They lead the Cavaliers 16-14 in a game they have dominated.

End of 3rd quarter: The game has turned sloppy as a pair of holding penalties back the College up to their own 11 yard line, bringing up first and 29. Grimes loses a yard on a carry and it’s 2nd and 30. However, the Tribe enters the fourth quarter up 16-14 as the clock winds down.

1:00, 3rd quarter: Virginia continues to shoot itself in the foot. On third and six, the Cavalier defense puts 12 men on the field to stop the Tribe. Good strategy: unless the ref notices it. He does, but UVA stops the Tribe, anyway.

However, not content to get the ball back, the Cav’s manage to run into the punter, David Miller. The penalty gives the ball back to the Tribe and a first down at their own 30. An unbelievably bad performance by the Wahoos.

3:00, 3rd quarter: Virginia drives up to midfield, before the College comes up with a big stop on 3rd and 3, getting to Sewell in the backfield. The Cavalier punt goes down to the Tribe 18, where the College will take over. If you told any Tribe fan they would have the ball and the lead with 3 minutes left in the third quarter, they would have been ecstatic earlier today. This upset is seeming like a real possibility at this point.

5:00, 3rd quarter: Internet issues have knocked me out for a few minutes, but a lot has happened in the last 6 minutes of gametime. After the teams traded possessions, the Tribe punted down to the UVA 6, where the Cavalier return man fumbled. Dante Cook jumped on the loose ball for the Tribe, giving the College first and goal at the nine. Three plays later, they kicked a 21-yard field goal to take a 16-14 lead.

The amount of miscues for Virginia this game has been staggering. I would be surprised with these mistakes from a CAA opponent, much less an ACC squad. However, the athletic ability of the Cav’s is keeping them in the game. Despite their struggles, it could only take one dynamic Jameel Sewell run to shift momentum back to the Cav’s.

11:00, 3rd quarter: Archer hits MacAulay for a first down on third and medium, jumpstarting the Tribe drive out to the 39, but it stalls after a third and 8 run play comes up short. David Miller rugby kicks it down to the 27, where UVA will take over.

Official attendance tonight: 54,587

14:00, 3rd quarter: The College comes out strong defensively, forcing a quick three and out. The Tribe gets the ball back with a chance to drive to take the lead. B.W. Webb with catches the punt at the Tribe 25 and immediately is taken down.

Halftime: It’s tough what to make of this contest at the half. On the one hand, the Tribe has left nine points on the board and could easily be leading this game by multiple scores. At the same time, UVA has looked horrible, giving away four turnovers and sacrificing at least seven points of their own.

What is incontrovertibly clear, is that the Tribe has, at worst, played even with the Cavaliers and, at best, grossly outplayed them. The College defense has been active all evening, swarming to the ball and allowing Virginia very little offensively, not to mention forcing four turnovers. After a rough start, the offense has been solid as well, although unable to finish drives. Overall, the College has been the better team this half.

This game is going to come down to halftime adjustments and, in that area, you have to like the Tribe’s chances. Al Groh has been ripped mercilessly in Charlottesville for his in-game coaching for years, while the Tribe’s Jimmye Laycock is one of the best coaches at any NCAA level.

If things hold level, the College will have an outstanding chance at pulling out one of their biggest wins ever. As it stands now, they are possibly unlucky not to be leading.

End of 2nd quarter: Archer throws it away again, bringing up a final field goal attempt for the College with 1.9 seconds left. Pate drains it, bringing the College to within one at the half.

UVA 14, Tribe 13.

7.9 seconds remaining, 2nd quarter: The Tribe completes for 13 yards to move into UVA territory and then picks up 10 more penalty yards after a personal foul, late hit on UVA. It came against an illegal shift for the College leading to only a 10 yard gain.

Grimes takes it down to the 17 and Tribe take their last timeout at 2nd and 3 with 21.9 seconds remaining. Archer sneaks up the middle on a draw and picks up 8 yards to the nine. An offside penalty is declined, allowing the College time to call a play. Archer smartly wings it out of the end zone after nothing develops on the ensuing play. 2st and goal at the 9 with 7.9 seconds left and UVA takes a timeout with the clock stopped.

0:47.8 remaining, 2nd quarter: UVA attempts to put together a drive to put more points on the board before halftime. Sewell fumbles a snap at midfield and the College recovers the fumble. That’s four turnovers forced now for the Tribe. Huge play and this UVA crowd is getting very upset.

1:00, 2nd quarter: Archer tries to hit Grimes over the middle, who can’t come up with it and inadvertently tips it up into the air. It goes straight to a UVA defender who can’t catch an easy ball which fell in his hands. That’s two easy picks the Cav’s have dropped while the Tribe has caught both of their’s. Not what you would expect from a FCS-FBS matchup.

On third and 8, Archer completes to Hill who comes up a yard short. On fourth and 1, the Tribe line up to go for it, before calling a timeout. After emerging, the College lines up in the shotgun this time, but another false start penalty pushes them back bringing out Pate again for a 42-yarder. Pate misses another one. That’s nine points the College has left on the board.

This is very uncharacteristic from Brian Pate and it takes away a decisive advantage the College had entering this game.

2:00, 2nd quarter: Vic Hall returns for the Cav’s and promptly is forced to throw it away after running for his life on the first play of the drive. On the second, he takes it up the middle for 6 on a draw play. Adrian Tracy on the stop in pursuit. He’s having a monster game, all over the UVA backfield.

On the next play, the ball is punched out of Hall’s hands and Evan Francks recovers for the Tribe at the UVA 40. Might have been Tracy on the strip, crowded play, couldn’t tell. Either way it’s the third turnover forced by the Tribe defense in this half.

3:00, 2nd quarter: A couple short plays set up 3rd and 5 for the Cav’s at their own 31. On third down, B.W. Webb comes up with a tipped pass for his second interception of the day. It’s also the first career start for the redshirt freshman. Quite a debut.

Archer hits Varno 19 yards downfield and the Tribe is quickly right back down to the UVA 26. Terrence Riggins bulls inside the 20 and its 3rd and 8 at the 19. Archer can’t complete it to MacAulay, but he had Chase Hill wide open a few yards farther downfield. Pate comes out for a third time to attempt a 40-yarder. Pate drills this one as UVA jumps offsides. Laycock declines the penalty. Smart move.

UVA 14, Tribe 10.

5:00, 2nd quarter: A good return back to the 45 by Grimes is followed by a nice 27-yard catch by MacAulay and quickly the Tribe is right back into UVA territory inside the 30. An Archer run brings up 3rd and a yard at the 21. The cornerback steps in front of the pass and is almost off to the races, but he forgets to catch the ball. The Tribe lines up to go for it, but commits a false start penalty to back them up five yards. Pate comes on and drills the left upright. That is now six easy points the College has left on the field.

7:00, 2nd quarter: A play later, Sewell takes it in for the score on a quarterback keeper. Great run for the quarterback, who hesitated nicely and followed his blockers in. UVA 14, Tribe 7.

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the celebration will give the Tribe 15 extra yards on the kickoff. We’ll see how they answer here.

7:00, 2nd quarter: Lost my internet connection briefly, sorry for the interruption.

The College forced a three and out and got the ball back, but is unable to pick up a first. They did almost pick up a huge play though, as Chase Hill came up inches short of catching an Archer bomb with the endzone wide open. A handoff to Grimes was flicked back to Archer and the Tribe almost caught the defense napping.

Now, the Cav’s are putting together a drive of their own, with Sewell leading Virginia down inside the Tribe 20. It’s now 1st and goal at the 10.

13:00, 2nd quarter: The College comes up short on 3rd and 5. Brian Pate comes on to kick the field goal, but his attempt is blocked. Big play for the Cavaliers.

End of 1st quarter: College 7, UVA 7. After a shaky start, the tables have turned and the Tribe is driving for the lead. Outside of two plays, UVA has done nothing and the Cavaliers fans are looking extremely nervous. Despite the miscues at the start, the Tribe has to be happy with this first quarter of play.

A fantastic College crowd in the opposite corner of the stadium has been very vocal so far this game. The sea of Green and Gold almost looks like what you would see from a fellow ACC opponent.

End of 1st quarter: Grimes picks up the first on 3rd and 1 and the College has a first down at the UVA 33. The Tribe lets the first quarter end as the Tribe fans go crazy in the opposite corner. The rest of the stadium is dead silent.

1:00, 1st quarter: A swing pass to Grimes on 3rd and 6 picks up a big first down at the UVA 45. A great move from Grimes to shake a tackler and pick up the maker. He looks very strong early. A play later, he’s hit and stopped at the line. Only he emerges from the pile and picks up 6. Impressive running from the sophomore.

3:00, 1st quarter: The Cav’s switch quarterbacks to Jamee Sewell. A snap over Sewell’s head on the ensuing UVA possession and C.J. Herbert picks up an easy sack for a loss of 9. The Cavaliers get one back on second down before Hall hits Kris Burd for a big first down down the field. David Caldwell is shaken up on the play, but manages to get up and jog off the field. Huge play for UVA after a few three and outs.

Next up, Sewell badly overthrows his receiver and B.W. Webb is there for the interception. He returns it to the Tribe 43 and all of a sudden the momentum of this game has shifted drastically.

5:00, 1st quarter: The Cavaliers were pressing and attacking the line, so Laycock and Archer decided to back them off with the deep ball. That huge drive just changed the complexion of the game and should take a lot of pressure off the offensive line. A great call to go with Riggins on third down and long shows exactly why Laycock is regarded as one of the best offensive minds in the game.

5:00, 1st quarter: The Tribe picks up another first down as Archer hits D.J. MacAulay for a 9 yard gain on second down. A play later, Ryan Moody finds space over the middle and Archer hits him for a 48-yard gain down to the five. On the next play, Archer scrambles right and after improvising, hits an open Rob Varno in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Great offensive series and the Tribe is right back in the game. 7-7 tie.

6:00, 1st quarter: The Tribe again stop the Cavaliers with Virginia coming up just short on third and five. Offense takes over at the Tribe 18. Archer swings one to Grimes on the second play, who bulls two tacklers up to the 22. 3rd and 7. Great call from Laycock who has Archer hand it to Riggins on a counter. He picks up 12 for the Tribe’s initial first down of the evening.

9:00, 1st quarter: An incompletion and a run for no gain brings up 3rd and 10. Archer sets up a good screen to Courtland Marriner who has blockers. However, the blockers don’t bother to block. Marriner is hit for a loss of 1. Another ugly three and out. Holding on UVA on the punt, gives the Cavaliers the ball at their own 26.

So far, the Tribe defense is looking solid, really only giving up yardage on one play. The offense, however, looks terrible. The line has been shaky and Archer is out of sync with his receivers. The Cavaliers do look very fast on the defensive end, however.

10:00, 1st quarter: The College defense comes up strong. Trantin hits Hall in the backfield for a two yard loss and, after a short run, Adrian Tracy bats down a third-down pass. Three and out for UVA. The Tribe takes over at their 26 after a punt.

11:00, 1st quarter: Grimes settles the Tribe down with a good return out to the 31. He was fairly close to breaking it for big yardage as well. Archer scrambles around right end for no gain. After only a few plays, the College o-line is not looking good. Archer overthrows a slightly open Cam Dohse and then misses Grimes on a play which would have been short of the marker anyway. Another ugly 3 and out for the Tribe. Another good punt from Miller, a 47-yarder that goes out of bounds at the UVA 22.

12:00, 1st quarter: A good punt from Miller and Chase Hill sticks the return man when it comes down. Only problem was that he called for a fair catch. The 15-yard penalty allows the Cavaliers to start at the Tribe 39 and three plays later, quarterback Vic Hall scrambles 35 yards around right end into the end zone. A nightmare start for the Tribe. 7-0 Virginia.

13:00, 1st quarter: A false start on the first play from scrimmage pushes the Tribe back to the five, making them start out on first and 15. Grimes carries a couple before R.J. Archer hits freshman wideout Ryan Moody near the first down marker. The College should have picked up the first on 3rd and 2, but Moody misses a block and Grimes is wrapped up in the backfield on a screen.

15:00, 1st quarter: The Cavaliers win the toss and defer to the second half. Jonathan Grimes takes the kickoff out to the 25 yard-line before a block in the back pushes the College back to the 10. Not a great start.

Pregame: The Tribe just took the field right in front of the Tribe section. Two solid sections filled with green and gold, an excellent turnout for the College. Probably close to a couple thousand people. The teams just shook hands at midfield as part of the NCAA’s sportsmanship initiative to start the season. That should work better here than in Boise on Thursday.

Pregame: After the Army Black Knights parachuted in, the UVA marching band performed and the national anthem was played, we’re getting close to football here. The Cavaliers are taking the field to a sea of orange. This was after a video skit was played showing a UVA Cavalier stepping on a stereotypical WM “Indian”, who only made generic baby noises. That wasn’t racist at all.

Pregame: Before I head over to the pregame media buffet, I’ll post this week’s keys to the game. The College is hoping to utilize their top-notch defense to keep this one close and sneak out with the upset win. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, will look to jumpstart a new offense with a big performance against the Tribe. My keys to the game:

Stay disciplined

Virginia employs the spread offense ­— the same attack that JMU used to put up 47 points against the College last season. The Cavaliers do not have a quarterback as dynamic as Rodney Landers, but the Tribe defense will need to tackle better and stay disciplined against a quick, shifty offense.

Protect Archer

Chris Sutton and Derek Toon will both earn their first career starts on the offensive line. That unit has been erratic in preseason, but U.Va. and its raucous crowd of 61,000 will be an even tougher test. If quarterback R.J. Archer spends the entire game scrambling for his life, the College will have little chance.

The kicking game

Last year, kicker Brian Pate was rock solid for the College, drilling 13 of 16 field goal attempts. Virginia used a pair of kickers who combined to go 9 for 15. Tribe punter David Miller averaged 41 yards a punt, while the Cavaliers’ Jimmy Howell averaged 39. If this game is close, the difference in each of those statistics could play a decisive role.

Pregame: The Cavaliers just took the field for final stretching to a wide smattering of applause. The stadium is about one fifth full right about now and it looks like it will be a sea of orange. Except for the southeast corner that is, which is where several sections of College fans and students are sitting. Appears the Tribe are going to be extremely well represented with a pretty good road turnout. It seemed on campus that everybody was heading out to Charlottesville for today’s game.

Pregame: We’re live from the press box at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville and it’s now exactly 50 minutes to the start of the 2009 Tribe football season. Scott Stadium is beginning to fill on what is a beautiful early September evening. It looks like it’s going to be a capacity 61,000 person crowd tonight for this in-state rivalry matchup.

Stay tuned throughout the night for play-by-play and commentary while posting any questions in the comments section below. I’ll get to them as fast as I can.

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