Virginia’s Joe Reed didn’t even hesitate late in the first half of Fridays’ home opener after backpedaling two yards deep into the end zone to collect a kickoff. He saw a wall of blockers forming to his left, followed it to the Cavaliers’ sideline and a William & Mary defender may have got a hand on him as he trotted 100 yards for a touchdown.
Reed was the author of Virginia’s two longest plays of the night, freshman running back Mike Hollins made the most of his debut with two touchdowns and the Cavaliers cruised to a 52-17 victory over the Tribe.
Reed’s kickoff return for a touchdown – the fourth of his career – gave the Cavaliers a 35-3 halftime lead. He also got behind the defense and hauled in a 40-yard pass on the visitor’s sideline for the first touchdown of the game. He was originally called down at the one, but the play was reviewed and overturned.
That was the first of Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins’ two touchdown passes in the first half. He found Terrell Chatman, his former roommate at Arizona State, on a 15-yard scoring strike for a 28-0 UVa lead. Perkins also capped the Cavaliers’ longest drive of the opening half with a seven-yard touchdown run.
Hollins capped Virginia’s longest drive of the night with a touchdown early in the second half. His first career carry turned into a nine-yard touchdown jaunt. That ended a 10-play, 70-yard drive and gave the Wahoos a 42-3 advantage.
Hollins’ second touchdown was set up early in the fourth quarter by a 20-yard completion from backup quarterback Brennan Armstrong to Chatmen, which put the ball on the Tribe one. Hollins punched it in. He led the Cavaliers on Friday night with 11 carries for 78 yards.
It wasn’t all offense in the first half for Virginia, though. William & Mary went into halftime without a completion by a quarterback and with 49 total yards of offense. The Tribe’s longest play of the opening half was a wide receiver reverse pass by Kane Everson, which went for 27 yards.
The Tribe (1-1) finished the game with 193 yards of offense and just 63 on the ground.
Virginia’s defense even contributed a touchdown in the first quarter after Nick Grant snagged his first career interception, made a man miss and followed his blockers 85 yards for a 14-0 lead.
The Cavaliers (2-0) controlled the action from the opening kick, but they gave the Tribe a couple early chances to get on the board. Usually sure-handed punt returner Chuck Davis fumbled one in the second quarter, which gave William & Mary the ball on Virginia’s 13-yard line.
A sack by Noah Taylor and two incompletions later, Jake Johnston connected on a 40-yard field goal for the Tribe’s only points of the half.
Perkins also tried to fit a pass into a tight window late in the half and had it intercepted by William & Mary safety Myles Hayes, but Virginia’s defense again responded with a three-and-out.
Perkins was intercepted again on his final drive of the night, and on Armstrong’s first, he was hit just as he released a pass and it was intercepted by William & Mary linebacker Arman Jones, who took it 47 yards to cut UVa’s lead to 42-10.