CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (6-3, 4-2 ACC) returns home on Saturday (Nov. 13) to take on seventh-ranked Notre Dame (8-1) at Scott Stadium. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at ABC.
GAME COVERAGE: In addition to the ESPN broadcast, fans can stream the game live on ESPN.com or the ESPN app. The contest can be heard on Virginia Sports Radio Networks around the commonwealth and live on VirginiaSports.com. A list of stations can be found here. Fans can follow along via live stats and the Virginia Mobile app and get in-game updates on the team’s official twitter account, @UVAFootball.
- Virginia is 4-1 over the last five seasons coming off a bye, including a 16-13 win against then No. 16 Miami in 2018.
- Virginia is 4-1 at home this season and since 2018, is 21-3 at Scott Stadium, the second most home wins amongst ACC schools in that span.
- Saturday will be UVA’s seventh night game of the season. Virginia is 3-3 in night games in 2021 and are 9-2 under the lights at Scott Stadium in the Mendenhall era (2016-present).
- Notre Dame will be the third ranked opponent for Virginia this season (No. 21 North Carolina, No. 25 BYU).
- Notre Dame is the first AP top-10 opponent to come to Charlottesville since then-No. 5 Louisville in 2016.
- Virginia is seeking its first win over a top-10 opponent since 2005 (No. 4 Florida State, 26-21). The Cavaliers last win over a ranked foe came last season at home against No. 15 North Carolina.
- Virginia is in the midst of a three-game swing against nationally ranked opponents, finishing at No. 25 Pitt next Saturday.
- Virginia is bowl eligible for the fifth time in six seasons thanks to a 40-48 win over Georgia Tech on Oct. 23 at Scott Stadium. Bronco Mendenhall has been eligible for a bowl in 15 of his 16 years as a head coach and five of six at Virginia.
AGAINST NOTRE DAME
- The Cavaliers and Fighting Irish will meet for the fourth time and only the second time ever at Scott Stadium.
- UVA fell 35-20 in the last meeting at Notre Dame in 2019. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 18 at the time, their highest ranking since 2007. UVA held a 17-14 lead at the half but was outscored 21-3 in the final two quarters.
- In the last meeting between the two schools in Charlottesville back in 2015, then No. 9 Notre Dame escaped with a 34-27 victory when backup quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller with 12 seconds remaining. UVA led 27-26 going into the game’s final possesion thanks to a Albert Reid 1-yard plunge with 1:54 remaining.
- The two schools first met in the 1989 Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Notre Dame opened the year with a 36-13 victory in the contest that featured legendary coaches George Welsh (UVA) and Lou Holtz (ND) on the sidelines. UVA went on to win 10 of its next 11 games en route to a share of the program’s first ACC Championship.
QB1 – BRENNAN ARMSTRONG
- Quarterback Brennan Armstrong broke UVA’s single season passing record in just nine games.
- Going into the weekend Armstrong has thrown a TD pass in 15-straight games, the longest streak in UVA history, eclipsing Matt Schaub’s mark of 14-straight in 2002
- Armstrong has thrown for 300 or more yards eight times and 400 yards four times in nine games this season. Prior to this year a UVA quarterback hadn’t thrown for 300 yards more than four times (Matt Schuab and Bryce Perkins) in the same season and thrown for 400 yards twice in the same season.
- Armstrong has thrown for 300 yards in four-straight games. No quarterback at UVA had ever thrown for 300-yards in three-straight games prior to this season.
- Armstrong owns two of the top eight passing performances by an FBS quarterback this season. His 554 at UNC were the most by an FBS QB this season and his 487 against Louisville were the eighth-most.
- Armstrong has accumulated 3,828 yards of total offense this season, the most in the country and the fourth-highest total in a single-season in school history.
|Armstrong vs. the ACC Greats|
|1.||Deshaun Watson, Clemson||Jr.||2016||15||388-579||41||4,593|
|2.||Matt Ryan, Boston College||Sr.||2007||14||388-654||31||4,507|
|3.||Philip Rivers, NC State||Sr.||2003||13||348-483||34||4,491|
|4.||Chris Weinke, Florida State||Sr.||2000||12||266-431||33||4,167|
|5.||Deshaun Watson, Clemson||So.||2015||15||333-491||35||4,104|
|6.||Jameis Winston, Florida State||Fr.||2013||14||257-384||40||4,057|
|7.||Mike Glennon, NC State||Sr.||2012||13||330-564||31||4,031|
|8.||Ryan Finley, NC State||Gr.||2018||13||326-484||25||3,928|
|9.||Jameis Winston, Florida State||So.||2014||13||305-467||25||3,907|
|10.||Tajh Boyd, Clemson||Jr.||2012||13||287-427||36||3,896|
ARMSTRONG VS. ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 TEAMS
- In five career games against AP top-25 teams (No. 1 Clemson, No. 11 Miami, No. 15 North Carolina, No. 21 North Carolina and No. 25 BYU) Armstrong has thrown for 1,550 yards (310.0 yards per game), 16 touchdowns (6 INTs) and rushed for 324 more yards and three scores. That comes out to 1,874 yards of total offense (374.8 ypg) and 19 touchdowns responsible for.
OFF TO A FAST START
- UVA has scored 24 or more points in the first half of five of the nine games this season. At BYU, UVA posted 42 points, tied for the third most ever in school history. The Cavaliers scored 35 of those points in the second quarter, tied for the most ever (Colgate, 1971) in the second quarter of a game in program history.
- UVA has scored a combined 100 points in the first half over the past three games (34 vs. UNC; 24 vs. Georgia Tech, 42 at. BYU)
THE CAVALIER TARGETS
- Virginia has five wide receivers in the ACC’s top-18 in receiving yards – Dontayvion Wicks (3rd – 972), Keytaon Thompson (7th – 663), Billy Kemp (12th – 562), Ra’Shaun Henry (15 – 493) and Jelani Woods (18th — 446). Only one other ACC School has three (Pitt).
- Virginia is one of two schools (Ohio State) with three receivers in the top-84 nationally in receiving yards
- Wicks earned his second-straight ACC Wide Receiver of the Week award on Oct. 25 after catching six passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns. His 77-yard catch and run in the second quarter against Georgia Tech was the longest play from scrimmage for UVA in 2021. Wicks is the first UVA wideout since Herman Moore in 1990 to win back-to-back ACC Wide Receiver Week honors.
- Wicks is tops in the ACC and fourth in the country with 23.14 yards per reception. His 972 yards receiving are the third most in the ACC and rank 10th in FBS. Wicks has hauled in nine touchdowns on the year, third most in the conference and tied for sixth most among FBS receivers.
OVER THE CENTURY MARK
- Virginia has five receivers record 100-yard performances this season (Kemp-1; Wicks-5; Woods-1; Henry-1; Thompson-1) . Only Ole Miss (6 receivers) and Virginia have had five or more receivers with 100 yards this season.
- Going into Saturday against Notre Dame, Dontayvion Wicks has three-straight 100-yard receiving games. Germane Crowell (1997) is the only other UVA wideout with three-straight 100-yard receiving games.
- Wicks became the 9th Cavalier ever with five 100-yard receiving games in a career. All five have come in 2021. Olimade Zaccheaus (5 in 2018), Kris Burd (5 in 2011) and Germane Crowell (6 in 1997) are the only UVA wide receivers with five 100-yard games in the same season.
- The Cavaliers have had two players with 100 yards receiving in the same game twice this season. Wicks (183) and Kemp (104) each eclipsed 100 against North Carolina while Thompson (149) and Henry (179) went over 100 against Louisville.
|Single Season Receiving Yards at UVA|
|1.||Herman Moore (1990)||1190|
|2.||Hasise Dubois (2019)||1062|
|3.||Billy McMullen (2001)||1060|
|4.||Olamide Zaccheaus (2018)||1058|
|5.||Dontayvion Wicks (2021)||972|
- To date, Billy Kemp IV, Keytaon Thompson, Dontayvion Wicks and Ra’Shaun Henry have each caught a pass in Virginia’s nine games this season.
- 15 Cavaliers have caught a pass this season, including quarterback Brennan Armstrong who has 18 receiving yards to his name. Five pass catchers have 25 or more receptions this season.
- Jelani Woods has a touchdown in six of the eight games he’s played this season. He had caught four scores in three seasons (34 games) against Oklahoma State and eclipsed that mark in six games played at UVA.
|Single Season TD Receptions by a UVA Tight End|
|1.||Heath Miller (2002)||9|
|2.||Jelani Woods (2021)||6|
|Ed Carrington (1965)||6|
|Heath Miller (2003)||6|
|Tony Poljan (2020)||6|
KEMP ENTERS TOP-5 AT UVA
- Wide receiver Billy Kemp IV has seven or more catches in five games this season, including nine against Miami on Sept. 30, one shy of his career high. He has caught nine or more passes in a game, six times in his career.
- Going into Saturday, Kemp has 161 career catches, the fifth-most ever by a UVA receiver. Of the 15 wide receivers inside the top 20 on UVA’s career receptions list, nine have played for wide receivers coach and former Cavalier quarterback Marques Hagans.
- Kemp has caught a pass in 24-straight games, a streak that dates back to the 2019 season.
- The sure-handed Kemp is also one of the most experienced punt returners in college football, fielding 55 career punts, tied for the most among active FBS players.
|Career Receptions at UVA|
|1.||Olamide Zaccheaus, WR (2015-18)||250|
|2.||Billy McMullen, WR (1999-01)||210|
|3.||Taquan Mizzell, RB (2013-16)||195|
|4.||Kris Burd, WR (2008-11)||162|
|5.||Billy Kemp, WR (2018-pres.)||161|
BAG OF TRICKS
- Senior Keytaon Thompson is listed on the UVA depth chart as a “FBP” or “Football Player”. The versatile Thompson has lined up under center, in the backfield and out wide during his time at UVA.
- Thompson, a transfer from Mississippi State, is also known as “Trick Bag”, a nickname given to him in high school as a tribute to his athleticism.
- Pro Football Focus has Thompson rated the most “elusive” player in the country. The outlet’s “Elusive Rating” distills the success and impact of a runner with the ball independently of the blocking in front of him by looking at how hard he was to bring down.
- Thompson has started a career-high seven games this season, six at wide receiver and one at running back.
NOTING THE DEFENSE
- The Virginia defense features two of the top seven tacklers in the ACC, Nick Jackson (2nd – 9.6 TPG) and Joey Blount (7th – 8.3 TPG). Jackson, a preseason All-ACC selection, has made 86 stops in nine games and Blount has 66 tackles in seven games. Blount’s 5.4 solo tackles per game are the most in the ACC.
- Joey Blount had back-to-back games with an interception and his eight career interceptions are tied for the 12th most among active FBS defenders.
- Virginia intercepted two passes against Duke, the first multi-interception game of the season and first since picking off five against Duke in the 2020 season opener. It was the first time this season that the Blue Devils had thrown multiple interceptions.
- Nick Jackson tied his career-high with 16 tackles against BYU, the fifth time this season he has registered double-digit tackles this season.
- Nick Grant has seven pass breakups in seven games played, tied for the fourth most in the ACC.
- Kicker Brendan Farrell has made four- straight field goals including tries of 24 and 26 yards against Georgia Tech. His only miss on the season was from 55 yards against Louisville which would have been the third longest field goal in program history.
- Farrell is 8-for-8 on field goals from 43 yards and in. Additionally, he is 26-for-26 on extra point tries this season. His 50 total points scored rank 20th in the ACC and are second to Dontayvion Wicks’ 54 for the team lead.
- Farrell has accumulated 35 touchbacks since taking over the kicking responsibilities beginning in the second half of the Wake Forest game. The 51 touchbacks between Justin Duenkel and Farrell are tied with North Carolina for the second most in the country.
- Punter Jacob Finn is averaging 46.4 yards on 26 total punts which currently the best season average of any punter in school history. His 29 punts this season come up just short of the NCAA national rankings minimums but only 13 qualified punters across the country have a higher punt average.
- Against BYU, he kicked a season-long, 59-yarder, the furthest punt by a UVA punter since Nash Griffin’s 78-yarder in 2019.
|UVA single-season Punting Averages|
|1.||Jacob Finn (2021)||29||46.4|
|2.||Russ Henderson (1976)||69||45.9|
|4.||Nicholas Conte (2015)||52||44.7|
|5.||Nicholas Conte (2016)||74||44.3|