It is too soon for one setback to derail Virginia’s plans for the season.
But the Cavaliers would be wise for a strong bounce-back outing when Wake Forest visits for Friday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference game in Charlottesville, Va.
Wake Forest (3-0, 1-0 ACC) certainly has big plans after three convincing outcomes. The Demon Deacons are 3-0 for the fourth time in a six-season stretch.
“We’re going to need more of this as we move forward toward a very good Virginia team,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said.
Virginia (2-1, 0-1) is reeling after a 59-39 setback at No. 21 North Carolina, a result that came despite quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s school-record 554 passing yards Saturday night.
“The clock is ticking,” Cavaliers coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “It’s a fast turnaround.”
Armstrong has thrown for 11 touchdowns with two interceptions this season. He’s the first Virginia quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games.
“We needed to give him more support defensively,” Mendenhall said.
The problem for Virginia in the North Carolina game was that it allowed 699 yards of total offense.
“Put it behind us and go attack this week,” Virginia linebacker Nick Jackson said.
Yet the Cavaliers, who never before lost an ACC opener under Mendenhall, don’t see all their goals off the board.
“It’s not going to stop us,” Armstrong said. “You can’t dwell on it. It can’t ruin your season. There’s a long, long way to go.”
Wake Forest has already topped two opponents from the state of Virginia, drubbing Old Dominion and Norfolk State before defeating Florida State last week to open ACC play.
Clawson said the Demon Deacons put forth a stellar effort on the defensive side, something that will be needed against a Virginia team that has racked up at least 39 points in each game.
Virginia will have to play the first half versus Wake Forest without safety Coen King, who was ejected in the second half at North Carolina because of targeting. Safety Joey Blount should be available after exiting Saturday night with a collarbone injury, Mendenhall said Monday. However, running back Wayne Taulapapa began the week in the concussion protocol.
Wake Forest kicker Nick Sciba has converted on 16 consecutive field-goal attempts for the longest active mark in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Earlier in his career, he connected on 34 consecutive field goals for an NCAA record.
Wake Forest has won its last four meetings with the Cavaliers, including last season’s 40-23 home result, for its longest winning streak in the series. The Demon Deacons scored the final 17 points of the 2020 matchup. Armstrong didn’t play in that game.
It will be Wake Forest’s second game on a Friday night this season after opening against Old Dominion.
–Field Level Media