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Duke 28, Virginia 17

The season is ¾ of the way finished, and Virginia is 3-5. It’s going to take an unlikely winning streak for Virginia to rescue the season. There will be much more on the loss and next week’s game against Miami in the coming days. As always, though, I’m curious what you think. Please e-mail me at or leave comments below.

Until then, here is some of the reaction from after the game that did not make the story…

- Only 41,713 came to Scott Stadium on Saturday. It was the lowest crowd since the stadium’s expansion in 2000, breaking records set this season.

“We don’t care. They don’t help us win. Fans don’t help us win,” defensive end Nate Collins said. “We have empty stadium, full stadium – we only focus on what we can control. What we control is what’s going on on the field. We don’t control who buys tickets, who comes, who sits in the stands, who lives. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day. Whoever said stadium helps, it doesn’t help. It’s all mental.”

The fans left when Duke took an eight-point lead with 3 minutes and 22 seconds remaining. The game was still conceivably in reach, but the fans had no reason to believe the Cavaliers could come back.

“This is U-Va. This isn’t Michigan or LSU or Tennessee or Virginia Tech,” fullback Rashawn Jackson said. “Fans here, they aren’t that patient. Sometimes, it’s human nature, when things aren’t looking good, I don’t want to say tuck your tail but just to turn your back. There were a few fans who really stuck out to me who were screaming on the sideline, ‘Rashawn! Go ‘Hoos! We love you! We’re here for you!’

“And those are the guys who made this loss feel even worse, because they were really hanging in there for us and really giving it their all. I appreciate that effort. I appreciate those fans, and I appreciate those people who stayed and finished watching the game. And I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t help their weekend go a little bit more smoother. And hopefully, they aren’t getting bugged about it at work on Monday. I’m sure some of them might, and that’s even more disappointing.”

- The game seemed like it was in Virginia’s grasp after Chase Minnifield made a critical interception inside the end zone to stop a Duke score with 8:01 remaining.

“It was really a play where I wasn’t supposed to be there,” Minnifield said. “I just saw the guy running free in the end zone, and I’m sure [Duke quarterback Thaddeus] Lewis thought he was free, too. I just went back there when the ball was thrown and I caught it. I didn’t know if my feet were in or not. I just showed the ball to the ref, and hopefully things worked out.”

The offense responded with a three-and-out, allowing Duke to come back.

“Just lack of execution,” Jackson said. “It’s a bit heartbreaking. We’re doing things the correct way during the week. But unfortunately sometimes, in the game we’re not performing.”

Here are some game-specific notes from Virginia’s media relations department….
Game Notes • Virginia vs. Duke
Oct. 31, 2009 • Scott Stadium

• UVa dropped back-to-back games to Duke for the first time since losing in 1981 and 1982
• Duke’s Thaddeus Lewis threw for 343 yards, becoming the first opponent to throw over 300 yards against UVa since USC’s Mark Sanchez (344) in the 2008 season opener
• UVa’s six sacks of Duke’s Thaddeus Lewis were the most allowed by the Blue Devils this season
• Virginia had six sacks. Duke entered the game third in the ACC having allowed just 14 sacks all season
• UVa’s six sacks are the most since recording six against Richmond in 2008
• John-Kevin Dolce had a career-high 2.5 sacks
• Nate Collins had a career-high two sacks
• Connor McCartin and Paul Freedman both appeared in the game to become the 13 th and 14 th true freshman to make their collegiate debuts for UVA this season.
• Freedman finished the contest with one reception for six yards
• Joe Torchia scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 19-yard strike from Jameel Sewell in the fourth quarter
• Torchia’s 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter was the longest of his career
• Sewell’s passing touchdown in the fourth quarter marked UVa’s first redzone passing score of the season (11 FG)
• Jameel Sewell tossed an interception in the first quarter, halting his streak at 145 pass attempts without a n interception. He entered the game with the fifth-longest active streak amongst Division I players
• Sewell was last picked off during the Southern Miss. game on Sept. 19
• Sewell connected for 86 yards on the afternoon, moving his career total to 4,865 where he still stands in sixth place in the Virginia annals, needing 13 yards to pass Marques Hagans (4,877) for fifth all-time.
• UVa has gone seven games without allowing a first quarter touchdown and is now outscoring its opponents in the opening period 40-16.
• Duke’s passing touchdown in the fourth quarter was the first passing touchdown allowed by the Cavaliers in five games (last one allowed was in the Southern Miss game)
• UVa has been held under 100 yards rushing for the third straight game, marking the first time this has happened since the opening three games of the 2008 season
• The game was the 1,200 th in Virginia history, the 12 th most in NCAA history
• Al Groh coached his 174th career game at an ACC school (Wake, Virginia) today. That moves him into sole possession of fourth place all-time, passing former N.C. State coach Earle Edwards.

By Zach Berman  |  October 31, 2009; 9:06 PM ET
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Geez, the PR staff needs to have a chat with Nate Collins.

Posted by: skabizza | November 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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