Virginia has lost five of its last six games, but three of those games were decided by three points or fewer. So there was some reason for optimism that the Cavaliers could pull off an upset at home vs. the Panthers.
But that’s hard to do when you fall behind 14-0 in the first 16 seconds.
Virginia received the opening kickoff and senior quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw an interception on the team’s first offensive snap. It was returned 29 yards for a touchdown by Pitt’s M.J. Devonshire, putting Virginia in a 7-0 hole just five seconds into the game.
And on Virginia’s very next offensive play, disaster struck yet again. This time, Armstrong looked left and was picked off again, this time by Marquis Williams. And like his teammate, Williams took it to the house via a 39-yard return.
PITT PICK SIX! PITT PICK SIX!
FIRST TWO PLAYS OF THE GAME!
Pitt deferred and kicked off.
Then led 14-0 after 16 seconds.@Mjdevonshirejr x @Williamsisland4
📺 @ACCNetwork #H2P » #WeNotMe pic.twitter.com/g0DXbwdQXt
Williams’ big play grew Pitt’s lead to 14-0 at the 14:44 mark of the first quarter.
It’s hard to imagine a worse way to start a game for an offense. With those two interceptions, Armstrong has 12 on the year, a career high.
Those miscues set the tone for what would be a brutal day for the Virginia offense. In a 37-7 loss, Virginia mustered only 144 yards.
It’s been a tough transition for Virginia following the sudden resignation of Bronco Mendenhall last year. The Cavaliers are now 3-7 in their first season under Tony Elliott, the former Clemson offensive coordinator.