CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (3-6, 1-5) will play their final home ACC game of the season when it hosts Pitt (4-5, 2-3 ACC) on Saturday (Nov. 12) at Scott Stadium. The contest is scheduled for a noon start on ACC Network and the Virginia Sports Radio Network.
GAME COVERAGE: In addition to the ACC Network broadcast, authenticated subscribers can stream the game on the ESPN app and ESPN.com. The pregame radio show on the Virginia Sports Radio Network will begin at 11 a.m. Fans can listen to the game on the Virginia Sports App, the TuneIn App and any one of the VSRN affiliates across the commonwealth. For a list of expanded coverage visit: virginiasports.com/radio
INSIDE SATURDAY’S MATCHUP
- Coastal Division foes Virginia and Pittsburgh will convene at Scott Stadium for the first time since 2018.
- Virginia has lost the last two games by a combined five points, including a 4OT loss to Miami on Oct. 29. Five of Virginia’s nine games this season have been decided by a touchdown or less.
- Apart from a season-opening, 30-14 win for UVA in 2019, the Panthers have won five of the last six games against Virginia, including a 48-38 shootout last season, the highest scoring game in the series between the two teams.
- Virginia is in the middle of a four-game homestand, only the second time in the history of the program that UVA has played four-straight Saturdays at Scott Stadium and the first time since 1970.
- UVA is 23-8 in its last 31 games at Scott Stadium. The 23 home wins since 2018 are the third-most by any ACC team, trailing Clemson (30) and NC State (28), and the most by any Coastal Division team.
- Pitt leads the ACC and ranks 10th in country in time of possession per game (33:23) while Virginia is last in the league with an average time of possession just under 28 minutes.
- UVA quarterback Brennan Armstrong became the 15th player in ACC history to reach 10,000 yards of total offense for his career last Saturday against North Carolina. Armstrong is UVA’s all-time leader in passing yards and total offense.
- Armstrong needs 17 yards to became the ACC’s all-time leader in passing yards by a left-handed quarterback. His 8,882 yards are the 14th most by a lefty in NCAA history.
- Virginia has the third-best pass rushing attack in the ACC, averaging 3.33 sacks per game, the eighth highest in the country. The Cavaliers will go up against a Pitt offensive line that has yields 1.89 sacks per game, the third fewest in the league. Pitt has allowed seven sacks in five ACC games while Virginia has compiled 15 sacks in its last three games.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
15 – Number of ACC quarterbacks to amass 10,000 yards of total offense in their careers. Brennan Armstrong became the 15th last Saturday vs. UNC.
30 – Virginia is one of eight schools in the country to reach the 30-sack plateau. The ACC has three schools with 30+ sacks, the only three Power-5 teams in the top-8.
37 – Number of career passes defended (7 INT, 30 PBU) by cornerback Anthony Johnson, the fourth-most of any active NCAA defender.
7- Linebacker Nick Jackson needs seven tackles to record his third-straight 100-tackle season. His 93 tackles are the third most among Power-5 defenders.
LAST YEAR’S MEETING VS. PITT
- Touted as one of the top quarterback matchups in all of college football in 2021, the battle between Brennan Armstrong and future first round pick Kenny Pickett lived up to the hype.
- Armstrong threw for 487 yards and three touchdowns while Pickett accounted for 340 yards and four touchdowns.
- Wide receiver Jordan Addison stole the show, catching all four of Pickett’s touchdown passes and finished with 202 yards receiving. He became the first UVA opposing wide receiver to catch four touchdowns in a game. His 62-yard touchdown with 2:10 remaining in the game all but sealed the game and helped Pitt clinch the Coastal Division crown.
- Keytaon Thompson and Dontayvion Wicks each had double-digit catches and 100+ yards receiving. Thompson led the Cavaliers with a career-high 11 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. Wicks caught 10 passes for 144 yards.
- Pitt special teams coordinator/running backs coach Andre Powell was at Virginia from 1996-2000 coaching running backs and wide receivers under then head coach George Welsh. He later went on to coach at Clemson and was the running backs from 2007-10 before leaving for the same position at Maryland. Dabo Swinney replaced Powell with current UVA head coach Tony Elliott.
- Pitt offensive line coach Dave Borbely had two coaching stints at Virginia, first from 2006-09 as the offensive live coach/run game coordinator for then head coach Al Groh. He returned to Charlottesville for one season under Mike London to coach the o-line.
- Brennan Armstrong needs 17 yards passing to become the top left-handed quarterback in ACC history, a spot held by Tanner Price of Wake Forest (2010-13).
- 250 more passing yards would also move Armstrong into 13th place all-time on the most career passing yards by a left-handed quarterback in FBS history.
Despite the absence of three of the Cavaliers top targets (Keytaon Thompson, Dontayvion Wicks & Lavel Davis Jr.) on offense against then-No. 17 UNC, the Cavaliers put forth their highest offensive output since the season opener against Richmond.
- The trio of Thompson, Wicks and Davis have combined for 56 career starts. Wide receivers Demick Starling, Sean “JR” Wilson and tight end Sackett Wood Jr. each played significant roles against the Tar Heels. Starling, Wilson and Wood came into the contest with a combined one career start, Wilson the week prior against Miami.
- Wood had the most receiving yards by a tight end since Jelani Woods had 122 yards in the second game of the season last year against Illinois.
- Wicks and Thompson had their consecutive start streaks end at 18 and 12 games, respectively.
- Running back Perris Jones also sat out with an injury after starting the first eight games of the season. Senior Mike Hollins rushed a career-high 16 times and totaled 75 yards on the ground. Freshman Xavier Brown and fifth-year Ronnie Walker Jr. each scored their first touchdowns of the season.
- Armstrong has five rushing touchdowns in the last five games including his first two-TD performance of the season last week against North Carolina. It marked the sixth time in his career he’s rushed for multiple touchdowns in game.
- Armstrong has 20 career rushing touchdowns tied with former teammate Bryce Perkins (2018-19) for the third-most by a quarterback in UVA history. He needs one more touchdown to tie College Football Hall of Famer Bill Dudley for the second most in program history.
- Against North Carolina, Armstrong surpassed UVA legend Shawn Moore for the third most career rushing yards by a Virginia quarterback. He trails Dudley by 318 yards for the second most in school history.
- Armstrong’s 313 yards passing against Louisville were a season-high. It also marked the 12th time in his career he’s eclipsed the 300-yard mark in a game, a program record. One more 300-yard effort and he will move into a tie for the sixth most in ACC history.
- Fifth-year Anthony Johnson is having the best season of his college career. His 13 passes defended (11 pass break ups & 2 INT) are tied for the third most in the nation. The 11 pass break ups are a career-high through just nine games played.
- For his career, Johnson has 37 career passes defended (30 pass break ups + 7 interceptions), the fifth most of any active FBS corner back and tops among all active Power-5 corners.
- On the other side of the field, Fentrell Cypress has 12 pass break ups, the most in the ACC and tied for the second-most in the country.
- The 25 combined passes defended are the most by any duo in the country.
Teammates with the Most Combined Passes Defended
|Anthony Johnson/Fentrell Cypress (Virginia)||25|
|Jartavius Martin Devon Witherspoon (Illinois)||24|
|Corey Mayfield Jr./Clifford Chattman (UTSA)||24|
|Kalen King/Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)||23|
ACC SACK LEADER – CHICO BENNETT JR.
- Despite not recording a sack in last week against North Carolina, Bennett’s seven sacks are the most of any ACC pass rusher. He only trails the national leader Tuli Tuipulotu of Southern California who has nine sacks in nine games played.
- Through only eight games, Bennett’s seven sacks are the most by a Cavalier since Jordan Mack (7.5) and Noah Taylor (7.0) in 2019. The last two Cavaliers to reach eight sacks in a season were Max Valles (9.0) and Henry Coley (8.0) in 2014.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
- Wide receivers Keytaon Thompson and Billy Kemp IV are on pace to go down as statistically two of the top-10 receivers in UVA history.
- Thompson moved into a tie for 12th most receiving yards at UVA with 41 yards on five catches. He needs 37 yards to pass Heath Miller for the 10th-most receiving yards in school history.
- Kemp went over the 1,700 career receiving yards with 28 yards against Miami ,elevating him to 10th on UVA’s all-time receiving list.
JACKSON CLOSING IN ON 100
- Through nine games played, Jackson is second in the ACC with 10.3 tackles per game. His 93 total tackles are also second behind UNC’s Cedric Gray in the ACC and are 10th-most in the country.
- Jackson has the chance to join Charles McDaniel (1982-84), Jon Copper (2006-08) and Micah Kiser (2015-17) as the only Cavaliers to lead the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons.
- The Cavalier defense had their streak of not allowing an offensive touchdown end at nine last week against North Carolina.
- UVA held North Carolina to a field goal in the first quarter and 10 points at halftime, the fewest by the Tar Heels at either break this season. UNC came into the contest as the top scoring offense in the ACC and the sixth-best in the country.
- True freshman Will Bettridge accounted for all 12 points against Miami, including a pair of 41 yarders in overtime. He became the first UVA kicker with four field goals in a game since 2015 when Ian Frye did it against the Hurricanes.
- Bettridge needs two more field goals to tie Wayne Morrison’s mark for the most by a UVA freshman in a single season. Morrison converted nine field goals as a first year in 1979.
- Daniel Sparks leads the ACC with a 44.8 punt average, the 15th highest in the country. As it stands, the 44.8 average would be the highest by a UVA kicker since Ryan Weigand in 2007 who also lead the conference in punt average.
- The transfer from Minnesota has 10 punts of 50+ yards (3rd most in ACC) and 12 punts inside the 20-yard line (the second most in ACC).
- Sparks currently carries the ninth-highest grade (79.5) of all FBS punters according to Pro Football Focus.