Malik Washington is alone on top of UVA's single-season receiving yards list!
UVA leads Duke 7-0!
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) November 18, 2023
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Attack, sustain and finish. For the Virginia Cavaliers, that was their mission this week, and they had the satisfaction of celebrating a job well done Saturday.
Against ACC rival Duke, which hasn’t won at Scott Stadium since 2013, UVA never trailed. It was 10-10 at halftime, but the Cavaliers built a two-touchdown lead early in the fourth quarter and held on for a 30-27 victory.
“They did the things you need to do to win football games,” Duke head coach Mike Elko said, “and they certainly deserved to win.”
The Blue Devils (6-5 overall, 3-4) injected some late-game suspense when they scored a touchdown with 73 seconds left, but the onside kick attempt that followed went directly to UVA cornerback Tayvonn Kyle, who calmly corralled the ball. With Duke out of timeouts, UVA had only to kneel twice to secure its first ACC home victory in two seasons under head coach Tony Elliott.
“We’ve got to defend our turf,” Elliott said. “Doesn’t matter who’s coming in here. This is our house, and we’ve got to be ready to defend it. And I thought the guys took a step forward in that direction.”
As has so often been the case this season, wide receiver Malik Washington dazzled for Virginia (3-8, 2-5). A graduate transfer from Northwestern, Washington came into the game on the verge of breaking two UVA records, and he came out with both marks.
Washington, who caught eight passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, now holds the program records for receptions (96) and receiving yards (1,311) in a season.
On a day when Virginia totaled 448 yards, Washington wasn’t the only standout on offense. Wideout Malachi Fields had four receptions for 74 yards and a TD, and tailbacks Kobe Pace and Mike Hollins rushed for 54 and 50 yards, respectively. Suderian Harrison, a true freshman receiver, had three catches for 42 yards.
At quarterback, true freshman Anthony Colandrea confidently directed the offense. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions, and ran nine times for 66 yards.
Colandrea’s second TD pass, a 29-yarder to Fields, put the Cavaliers ahead to stay early in the second half. His third TD pass, a 7-yarder to Washington, came with 6:33 left in the third quarter, and Will Bettridge’s extra point made it 24-10.
UP TOP TO MALACHI!
Hoos in front, 17-10!
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) November 18, 2023
Bettridge was 3 for 3 on field goals, connecting from 46, 21 and 30 yards.
Turnovers have plagued the Cavaliers this season, but they had none Saturday. Their defense, meanwhile, came up with two takeaways, both by true freshman Caleb Hardy. In the first quarter, fellow safety Jonas Sanker forced a fumble that Hardy recovered. In the third quarter, Hardy snared a pass thrown by Duke quarterback Grayson Loftis.
Another true freshman, linebacker Kam Robinson, led UVA with 11 tackles, and Kyle added nine.
UP NEXT: In the annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup, UVA (3-8, 2-5) closes the season next Saturday against Virginia Tech (5-6, 4-3) at Scott Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on ACC Network. This will be longtime rivals’ first clash since 2021. Their game was canceled last season after the shooting that took the lives of three Virginia players.
The Hokies hoped to become bowl-eligible in their home finale Saturday, but they lost 35-28 to NC State at Lane Stadium.
Virginia Team Notes
- Virginia is 41-33 all-time against Duke and has won eight of the last nine matchups against the Blue Devils. The two teams have played every year since 1963.
- UVA has won six-straight meetings against Duke at Scott Stadium
- The Cavaliers clinched their first ACC win at Scott Stadium since Oct. 23, 2021, a 48-40 win over Georgia Tech.
- Virginia rushed for 170 total yards in the contest, the sixth-straight game UVA has produced a 100-yard team rushing effort. The last time UVA rushed for 100 yards as a team in six-straight games was 2020.
- Eight different Cavaliers caught a pass in the contest, tied for the most in a game this season (8 different pass catchers vs. William & Mary).
- Virginia did not commit a turnover for the second time this season (0 turnovers vs. Tennessee). UVA forced two turnovers (interception and a fumble) for the third time this season. UVA had lost its
- Wide receiver Malik Washington broke UVA’s single-season receiving yards record and the program’s single-season receptions record in the contest. Washington had eight catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns on the day. For the season he has 96 catches, 1,311 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.
- Washington broke the UVA single-season receiving yards record with a 34-yard touchdown catch in in the first quarter to give the Cavaliers a 7-0 advantage. Washington surpassed the UVA single-season receptions record and setup UVA’s go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter with a 27-yard catch.
- Washington is tied for ninth-most receptions by an ACC player (96) in a single season. He needs 36 receiving yards to crack the ACC’s top-10 single-season receiving yardage list.
- Washington extended his consecutive games with a reception to 36.
- Washington’s nine receiving touchdowns on the year are tied with Germane Crowell (1997), Heath Miller (2002), Olamide Zaccheaus (2018), Dontayvion Wicks (2021) for the fifth-most ever in a single-season in UVA history.
- Washington has produced six-straight 100-yard receiving efforts and has nine total on the season, the most in the nation. The nine 100-yard receiving games are a single-season school record, the most in the nation and tied with Germane Crowell (1995-97) and Kris Burd (2008-11) for the most in a career by a UVA player.
- Anthony Colandrea was 21-for 30 with 278 yards passing and three touchdowns. He added 66 rushing yards and was responsible for 344 yards of total offense. The win was his first as a starting quarterback at UVA.
- True freshman Kam Robinson led UVA with 11 tackles (7 solo). It marked his third double-digit tackle effort of the season. He also added a pass break up and a tackle for loss.
- True freshman Caleb Hardy was credited with his first career interception that ultimately led to UVA’s third touchdown. He also recovered a fumble in the contest, his first of his career. The fumble was forced by Jonas Sanker, his team-best third of the season.
- Tayvonn Kyle matched his career-high with nine tackles and recovered Duke’s onside kick attempt in the fourth quarter to seal the Cavalier victory.
- Mike Diatta recorded his first sack of the season and second of his career, bringing down Grayson Loftis to force fourth down late in the first quarter. He finished with three tackles.