UVA shutdown by Wake Forest defense, lose 16-10

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UVA shutdown by Wake Forest defense, lose 16-10

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Chad Hedlund kicked three field goals and Wake Forest returned from an open week with a much-improved defense and beat mistake-prone Virginia 16-10 on Saturday, the Cavaliers' sixth consecutive loss.

The Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) came in allowing more than 206 rushing yards and 31 points, but limited the Cavaliers to 48 yards on 32 carries. They also stymied a late Virginia drive with a 6-yard loss on second down and an 11-yard sack of Phillips Sims on third down.

The Cavaliers (2-6, 0-4) had driven to the Demon Deacons' 36 before those two plays.

On its previous drive, Virginia reached the Wake Forest 34 and faced second-and-1 when Sims tried to float a pass to 5-foot-11 wide receiver Darius Jennings near the end zone. Instead, Demon Deacons 6-1 cornerback Kevin Johnson got inside position on the throw and intercepted, ending the possession. Johnson also recovered a fumble earlier.

The final straw came with 1:59 left when Virginia forced a punt, and the ball hit returner Khalek Shepherd near the shoulders and bounced away, the Demon Deacons recovering to essentially finish it.

Virginia's third turnover was among several special teams miscues for Virginia in the game.

The Demon Deacons went ahead 16-7 with more help as Virginia got called for an illegal block in the back on a punt when Wake Forest punted on fourth-and-11 from the Cavaliers 38. The Deacons went for it on fourth-and-1, and Price made it. Six plays later, Hedlund kicked his third field goal, a 24-yarder.

Virginia answered quickly, driving 62 yards in eight plays. Sims started the drive with a 31-yard pass to Jake McGee, but the drive stalled at the Demon Deacons' 13. Ian Frye kicked a 30-yard field goal.

Wake Forest led 10-7 at halftime and Hedlund's 44-yard field goal made it 13-7 in the third.

The Demon Deacons scored on their first offensive play of the game. After forcing Virginia to punt, Lovell Jackson returned it 60 yards. On the next play, Harris went right for the 16-yard touchdown.

Almost the rest of the half was a punting contest, except for one Cavaliers drive that reached the Demon Deacons' 26. From there, Frye tried a 44-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide right.

Virginia finally got something going late in the half, almost all of it through the air. Sims completed seven passes on the drive, converting on third down three times, and hit former Oscar Smith High School teammate Tim Smith on a slant from 13 yards and Smith beat the defense to the right pylon.

Only 20 seconds remained in the half, but the Demon Deacons made another special teams play as Chibulkem Okoro returned the short kick 20 yards to the 40. A personal foul on Kyle McCartin for tackling Okoro out of bounds moved it to the Virginia 45. Price hit 6-5 Brandon Terry in one-on-one coverage with 6-foot Drequan Hoskey for 41 yards, and Hedlund's 22-yard first field goal made it 10-7 at halftime.

Wake's scoring drives in the half took six seconds, and 17 seconds. 

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.

Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.

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Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.

New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.

The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.

Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.

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Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.

Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.

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As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.

What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.

Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.

In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.

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Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

A big-time game deserves a big-time uniform.

Virginia Tech delivered on that claim aturday as they revealed their look for the upcoming Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee.

The Sept. 20 non-conference game between the border rivals will be played in the infield of Bristol International Speedway in is what expected to be the largest crowd in college football history.

The official reveal was made via a video posted on YouTube:

Other views of the uniforms were also posted on Twitter:

The famous Hokie Stone was the inspiration for the look. The Hokies Stone is a type of rock found in Western Virginia almost exclusively in a nearby quarry owned by the school. It has become an iconic symbol of the school as several building on campus were built from the stone. Players will tap a Hokie Stone that hangs over the tunnel as they enter Lane Stadium during the football season.

The uniform's primary color scheme of black and grey pays homage to the team's history as those were the official colors of Virginia Tech before the school adopted the classic burnt orange and Chicago maroon we recognize today. The color grey was also chosen because it is a prominent color of the Corps of Cadets, according to a statement on the school's athletics website.

And boy do they look sharp. What do you think? Be sure to let us know!

The Battle at Bristol against Tennessee will take place on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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