Drive Chart
WMMARY
UVA

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Benkert sharp as Virginia downs William & Mary 28-10

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Kurt Benkert said all along that winning was the only acceptable outcome for Virginia in its season-opener against William & Mary.

Benkert was a big part of making it happen Saturday with three touchdown passes in the Cavaliers' 28-10 victory.

''One-and-oh is better than oh-and-one,'' Benkert said, comparing the victory to last season's 37-20 loss in the opener against Richmond, also a member of the FCS. ''That's where we wanted to start. We didn't care what the game looked like. We wanted to come out with a W.''

Jordan Ellis ran for 80 yards and a touchdown and scored the clincher on Benkert's final pass with 55 seconds remaining. It came minutes after Chris Peace intercepted a ricochet, setting the Cavaliers up at the Tribe's 25 and setting the stage for the final drive.

''Huge,'' center Jake Fieler said of the pick, adding ''there was no point where I felt like `Oh gosh. They might be coming back into this.'''

The Cavaliers gave coach Bronco Mendenhall and their fans a much more encouraging start than a season ago, when Virginia was dominated 37-20 by Richmond on its way to a 2-10 record, and Mendenhall demonstrated an increased faith in his team's closing ability.

''Once we got the lead, we were taking more chances, being a bit more radical on what we were doing (defensively),'' he said.

Benkert hit Andre Levrone for a 34-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-9 play with 1:31 left in the first half, giving Virginia a 14-0 lead. He later hit Olamide Zaccheaus for a 17-yard score, and found Ellis from a yard out on a fourth-and-goal play.

He was 27 for 39 for 262 yards, and the Cavaliers did not have a turnover for the first time in 43 games (Oct. 12, 2013 at Maryland).

The Tribe, who spoiled Virginia's opener in 2009 with a 26-14 victory, trailed 21-3 before Tommy McKee scored on a 2-yard run with 6:52 to play. Virginia followed with a three-and-out, but the Tribe juggled the ensuing punt, finally recovering after a scramble at its 4.

The interception by Peace came three plays later.

McKee completed 6 of 12 passes for 63 yards. He also led the Tribe in rushing with 89 yards on 15 attempts.

''I do not know if it was really pretty, but I thought it was pretty gutty,'' William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock said of the junior's play. The quarterback was involved in a three-way battle for the job into the final week and only came out of the game briefly because he was cramping.

THE TAKEAWAY:

William & Mary: The Tribe is young, but will be far more competitive as it returns to FCS-level competition. McKee, the winner of a three-way QB battle, demonstrated much grit and will find receivers easier going forward and won't have to do his other job - punting - as often.

Virginia: The Cavaliers did a good job of rewarding the excitement of a crowd that fell short of 40,000 on a cold and rainy day, but it came against a young defense. They will need to protect Benkert better and continue looking for a kicker. After freshman A.J. Meija missed badly on a 42-yard attempt, Mendenhall and his staff four times went for it on fourth down. The Cavaliers made only five field goals all last season.

''It looks like we have some snap and hold issues,'' Mendenhall said.

MORE ON FOURTH DOWN

Benkert was 2 for 4 on fourth-down throws, and also missed a wide open Levrone in the end zone on fourth-and-7 from the Tribe's 29.

''I love it,'' he said of having the ball on do-or-die plays. ''I think the coaches trust me, they know I'm going to take care of the football and I'm going to put us in the best situation.''

UP NEXT

William & Mary: The Tribe returns to FCS-level competition as it visits Norfolk State on Saturday.

Virginia: The Cavaliers play the second of three consecutive home games when Indiana visits on Saturday.

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More AP college football at www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:55
95-A.Mejia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
28
Touchdown 0:55
6-K.Benkert complete to 1-J.Ellis. 1-J.Ellis runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
8
plays
-33
yds
03:33
pos
10
27
Point After TD 6:50
19-K.Hooper extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
21
Touchdown 6:50
6-T.McKee runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
14
plays
13
yds
05:02
pos
9
21
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 7:08
95-A.Mejia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
21
Touchdown 7:08
6-K.Benkert complete to 4-O.Zaccheaus. 4-O.Zaccheaus runs 17 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
-2
yds
03:09
pos
3
20
Field Goal 10:32
19-K.Hooper 41 yards Field Goal is Good.
8
plays
4
yds
04:21
pos
3
14
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 1:31
95-A.Mejia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
14
Touchdown 1:31
6-K.Benkert complete to 14-A.Levrone. 14-A.Levrone runs 34 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
22
yds
02:58
pos
0
13
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:27
95-A.Mejia extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 4:27
1-J.Ellis runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
14
plays
27
yds
05:40
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 12 19
Rushing 9 6
Passing 3 13
Penalty 0 0
3rd Down Conv 1-11 8-17
4th Down Conv 2-2 2-4
Total Net Yards 229 338
Total Plays 54 71
Avg Gain 4.2 4.8
Net Yards Rushing 168 92
Rush Attempts 41 31
Avg Rush Yards 4.1 3.0
Net Yards Passing 61 246
Comp. - Att. 7-13 27-40
Yards Per Pass 4.7 6.2
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-11 2-16
Penalties - Yards 2-10 4-20
Touchdowns 1 4
Rushing TDs 1 1
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles - Lost 1-0 1-1
Int. Thrown 1 0
Punts - Avg 7-32.3 4-43.8
Return Yards 54 101
Punts - Returns 1--7 2-7
Kickoffs - Returns 3-61 3-91
Int. - Returns 0-0 1-3
Kicking 2/2 4/5
Extra Points 1/1 4/4
Field Goals 1/1 0/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Tribe 0-1 003710
Cavaliers 1-0 777728
61 PASS YDS 246
168 RUSH YDS 92
229 TOTAL YDS 338
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
T. McKee 6 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 63 0 1 77.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
50% 63 0 1 77.4
T. McKee 6/12 63 0 1
B. Battle 10 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 9 0 0 175.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 9 0 0 175.6
B. Battle 1/1 9 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. McKee 6 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 89 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 89 1
T. McKee 15 89 1 25
N. Giles 33 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 54 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
11 54 0
N. Giles 11 54 0 15
Ja. Anderson 29 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 18 0
Ja. Anderson 7 18 0 7
B. Britt 35 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 11 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 11 0
B. Britt 6 11 0 3
D. Dedmon 11 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 0 0
D. Dedmon 1 0 0 0
B. Battle 10 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
B. Battle 1 -4 0 -4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
A. Caskin 44 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 37 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 37 0
A. Caskin 2 37 0 28
D. Kuzjak 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 21 0
D. Kuzjak 2 21 0 16
D. Dedmon 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 11 0
D. Dedmon 2 11 0 8
J. Armstrong 22 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 3 0
J. Armstrong 1 3 0 3
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Atkins 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
N. Atkins 5-1 0.0 0
A. Jones 21 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
A. Jones 4-0 0.0 0
Co. Parker 8 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
Co. Parker 3-0 0.0 0
I. Stephens 73 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
I. Stephens 2-0 0.0 0
R. Smith 28 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
R. Smith 2-0 0.0 0
Jo. Dulaney 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
Jo. Dulaney 2-0 0.0 0
D. Dykes 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Dykes 1-0 0.0 0
M. Ahola 58 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
M. Ahola 1-0 1.0 0
B. Murray 95 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
B. Murray 1-0 0.0 0
G. Johnson 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
G. Johnson 1-0 0.0 0
Co. Parker 46 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Co. Parker 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
K. Hooper 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/1 1/1
SEASON FG XP
1/1 1/1
K. Hooper 1/1 41 1/1 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
T. McKee 6 QB
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
7 32.3 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
7 32.3 0
T. McKee 7 32.3 0 42
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Dedmon 11 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 20.3 31 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 20.3 31 0
D. Dedmon 3 20.3 31 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Dedmon 11 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 -7.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 -7.0 0 0
D. Dedmon 1 -7.0 0 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
K. Benkert 6 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
69.2% 262 3 0 151.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
69.2% 262 3 0 151.0
K. Benkert 27/39 262 3 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Ellis 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
19 80 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
19 80 1
J. Ellis 19 80 1 15
D. Hamm 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 35 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 35 0
D. Hamm 7 35 0 16
C. Sharp 31 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -4 0
C. Sharp 1 -4 0 -4
K. Benkert 6 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 -17 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 -17 0
K. Benkert 3 -17 0 -1
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Dowling 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
6 76 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 76 0
D. Dowling 6 76 0 26
A. Levrone 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 56 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 56 1
A. Levrone 2 56 1 34
O. Zaccheaus 4 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 56 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 56 1
O. Zaccheaus 5 56 1 17
J. Reed 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 31 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 31 0
J. Reed 4 31 0 13
W. Craft 23 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 18 0
W. Craft 1 18 0 18
J. Ellis 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 11 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 11 1
J. Ellis 2 11 1 10
E. Butts 46 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 9 0
E. Butts 2 9 0 5
B. Hogg 18 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 8 0
B. Hogg 1 8 0 8
D. Cross 15 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Cross 0 0 0 0
D. Hamm 22 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 -3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 -3 0
D. Hamm 4 -3 0 9
Defense T-A SACK INT
M. Cook 17 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 1.0
M. Cook 6-0 1.0 0
M. Kiser 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 1.0
M. Kiser 5-0 1.0 0
C. Moore 39 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
C. Moore 4-0 0.0 0
Q. Blanding 3 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
Q. Blanding 4-0 0.0 0
E. Hanback 58 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
E. Hanback 2-0 0.0 0
J. Thornhill 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
J. Thornhill 2-0 0.0 0
J. Mack 37 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Mack 1-0 0.0 0
J. Moye 99 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Moye 1-0 0.0 0
D. Dowling 7 WR
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Dowling 1-0 0.0 0
C. Peace 13 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
C. Peace 1-0 0.0 1
T. Harris 5 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
T. Harris 1-0 0.0 0
J. Trucilla 57 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Trucilla 1-0 0.0 0
L. Atkins 25 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 0 1.0
L. Atkins 0-0 1.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
A. Mejia 95 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 4/4
SEASON FG XP
0/1 4/4
A. Mejia 0/1 0 4/4 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
L. Coleman 47 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 43.8 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
4 43.8 2
L. Coleman 4 43.8 2 63
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Reed 2 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 30.3 44 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 30.3 44 0
J. Reed 3 30.3 44 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Hamm 22 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 3.5 6 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 3.5 6 0
D. Hamm 2 3.5 6 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:35 WMMARY 34 3:16 6 9 Punt
4:22 WMMARY 16 3:08 6 15 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:14 WMMARY 8 2:07 4 6 Punt
7:08 WMMARY 25 2:31 4 19 Punt
1:31 WMMARY 25 0:22 3 9 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:53 WMMARY 31 4:21 8 4 FG
7:02 WMMARY 14 2:13 4 24 Punt
1:59 WMMARY 20 1:53 3 7 End of quarter
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:52 WMMARY 29 5:02 14 13 TD
5:20 WMMARY 4 0:45 3 71 INT
0:55 WMMARY 25 0:40 2 3 End of game
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:56 UVA 27 1:11 4 -6 Punt
10:07 UVA 20 5:40 14 80 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 UVA 41 2:39 7 13 Punt
9:56 WMMARY 43 2:44 7 -32 FG Miss
4:29 UVA 30 2:58 9 70 TD
1:06 UVA 24 1:05 6 17 End of quarter
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:17 UVA 44 3:09 7 -2 TD
4:43 UVA 50 2:38 6 16 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 UVA 32 3:02 6 39
6:48 UVA 24 1:16 3 2 FUMBLE
4:28 WMMARY 25 3:33 8 25 TD