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By Jeff White

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Nearly 11 months have passed since UVa won in football, and many fans have chosen to show their frustration by not attending games at Scott Stadium. Others continue to come, even as the Cavaliers’ slide continues.

After his winless team lost 30-14 to No. 16 Texas Christian, Al Groh opened his news conference Saturday night by thanking the “many people who were there to greet the team when we arrived at the stadium. The positive encouragement and positive energy that they supplied was wonderful. Those are the people we really want to win for, those are what real true fans are, and we haven’t given them much to be positive about.”

Groh also thanked UVa students for their support. Virginia (0-2) doesn’t play at Scott Stadium again until Oct. 10, when Indiana comes to town for Homecomings, and that’s likely to draw a crowd much smaller than the official count of 48,336 for the TCU game.

Between now and then, UVa plays Sept. 19 at Southern Mississippi (2-0) and Oct. 3 at ACC rival North Carolina (2-0).

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Against teams from conferences with automatic Bowl Championship Series bids, including the ACC, Texas Christian has now won 12 of its past 15 games.

TCU plays at Clemson on Sept. 26.

Saturday night’s game was the Horned Frogs first against an ACC opponent since 1997, when they lost 31-10 to North Carolina.

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In the TCU game, Perry Jones became the fifth true freshman to play for UVa this season. Jones had a 25-yard kickoff return late in the game.

It was the opener for TCU, which played six true freshmen.

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The score was 0-0 early in the second quarter when UVa safety Corey Mosley was called for a dubious personal foul after hitting a receiver late on an incomplete third-down pass.

The penalty gave the Horned Frogs an automatic first down, and two plays later they scored.

“It certainly was a significant play in the game. It turned out to be a seven-point play,” Groh said. “You gotta have a conscience when you make certain calls. But that’s what gets called, and we have to understand what the rules are, and as we say, every player’s responsible for his own penalties.”

Mosley, probably the most aggressive player on UVa’s defense, wasn’t pleased with the penalty, but said he won’t change his style.

“No, sir. I’m going to continue being aggressive,” he said. “I’m going to continue being me. I’m going to continue tackle, I’m going to continue doing whatever my team needs.”

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That his 2009 roster would include such players as wideouts Javaris Brown and Tim Smith was one reason Groh hired Gregg Brandon as offensive coordinator after the ’08 season.

“Some of the things that we’re attempting to do are because we have some players who can work the open field with more speed and more quickness than their predecessors,” Groh said. “Those are two of the players who can do that. And for them to be able to step up and make those plays, now they have their first big plays. Neither one was an easy catch.”

Late in the TCU game, Brown got behind backup safety Johnny Fobbs and caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jameel Sewell.

On Virginia’s next possession, Sewell threw a 26-yard TD pass to Smith, who out-fought first-team cornerback Rafael Priest for the ball in the end zone.

“It was like a slant and out,” Smith said, “but when I went for the slant, [Priest] really didn’t bite, so I just went outside, and [Sewell] put it on the money, so I had to take it and wrestle it away from him.

“We both had our hands on it, but as I said, I wanted it more, so I took it.”

Sewell said the TD receptions “boost my confidence in what I know those other players can do, what they’re capable of. They show it in practice a little bit, but it’s great to see it in the game. It means a lot.”

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For the second straight game, UVa failed to distinguish itself on special teams. The Wahoos’ first drive against TCU ended when Danny Aiken‘s snap got past holder Vic Hall on what would have been a 40-yard field-goal attempt by Robert Randolph.

Later in the first half, Virginia tried to run a fake punt on fourth-and-2 from the 50. The snap went directly to one of the up men, tight end Joe Torchia, who made a ball fake that didn’t fool TCU and then tried to run.

Torchia was stopped for no gain, and TCU answered with a touchdown drive that made it 14-0.

“In retrospect, I think that was a poor decision on my part,” Groh said of the fake punt. “It had the same effect as a turnover. But we weren’t out there to try to prevent losing. We were out there to try to win, and we really hadn’t generated anything close to making us think we were going to get any points at that point offensively, so the thought was to try to generate some field position and some movement and maybe turn that into some points.”

Hall, who started at quarterback and returned punts in the opener against William and Mary, hurt his hip in that game, and his only appearance Saturday was on the early field-goal attempt.

“I would say that was probably a mistake on my part,” Groh said of using Hall, “but I have such trust in Vic.”

It wasn’t the best of snaps, Groh said, but a holder with better mobility than the injured Hall might have handled it OK.

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Sewell talked about how difficult it was for his close friend Hall to not be involved more against TCU.

“It’s killing him,” Sewell said. “He’s a competitor … It’s eating him up, because he wants to contribute, and he can’t.”

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B.J. Cabbell started all 12 games at right offensive guard in 2008, and he was there for the first snap against William and Mary last weekend, too.

Against TCU, however, junior Isaac Cain lined up at Cabbell’s spot on the opening series. Cabbell later played, but he’s dealing with a knee injury, and the coaching staff is trying to limit his work.

Cain, a Hampton High graduate, came to UVa as a walk-on in 2006. Others who didn’t start in the opener but were on the field for the first snap Saturday were Smith, who’s a true freshman, and running back Rashawn Jackson, a fifth-year senior.

Also, sophomore Chris Hinkebein, who didn’t play against W&M, kicked off for UVa versus TCU.

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In its 26-14 loss to William and Mary, UVa turned the ball over seven times. The ‘Hoos had one turnover against TCU.

“That’s an improvement,” Groh said. “Had we done that last week, the outcome probably would have been considerably different.”

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