Virginia 40, William & Mary 16
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (AP) _ Virginia followed a heart-breaking loss to Michigan in the Pigskin Classic by pounding William & Mary 40-16 Saturday night in the final game between the state rivals.
Since their first meeting in 1908, the Cavaliers have posted a 26-5-1 record over the Tribe. The series is being discontinued after this year.
It was a better day for Virginia this time than last weekend, when they lost at Michigan 18-17 on a last-second touchdown.
In the first game on natural grass at Scott Stadium in 22 years, Kevin Brooks ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and Tiki Barber ran for 99 and another score on 17 rushes for Virginia (1-1).
The Cavaliers took a 23-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, capping the period on a 62-yard scoring pass from Mike Groh to Derick Byrd. The Cavaliers drove 87 yards in only five plays and seemed primed for a rout.
But their offense stalled for the rest of the half, getting no more than a 42-yard field goal by Rafael Garcia late in the second quarter.
William & Mary, meanwhile, shook off a series of mistakes, including a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown by Virginia’s Terrence Wilkins, and battled back. Virginia managed only 17 points off five turnovers by the Tribe, thanks in part to a fumble of its own and a missed 36-yard field goal by Garcia.
Matt Byrne, a fifth-year senior beginning his lone year as the starter, was forced to throw often when Virginia stuffed the run, and the 5-foot-11 quarterback struggled. He finished 15 of 36 for 178 yards and one touchdown, but also suffered two interceptions and several drops by his teammates.
Virginia should have put the game away.
The Cavs took a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game on Brooks’ 7-yard run after a fumble by the Tribe, then got a break when William & Mary punter Steve Fill’s 29-yard pass to Ron Harrison was called back by an illegal procedure penalty.
Garcia’s 35-yard field goal made it 10-0, and Virginia quickly boosted its lead to 16-0 when James Farrior blocked Fill’s next punt and Wilkins recovered in the end zone. Garcia’s extra point was blocked.
Fill connected on a 25-yard pass to free safety Darren Sharper out of another punt formation in the first period, but that drive later stalled.