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Plenty of first downs to come by for Cavaliers

It took the Virginia offense three games last season to amass the number of first downs the Cavaliers compiled Saturday night against Richmond. Virginia tallied 22 first downs in its 34-13 win over the Spiders.

In 2009, the Cavaliers recorded 19 first downs in the first two games combined – home losses to William & Mary and Texas Christian – before registering 25 first downs in a 37-34 loss at Southern Mississippi.

One key, Coach Mike London said, was Virginia’s ability to convert on third downs (7 for 14). Fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica completed 4 of 10 passes for 41 yards on third downs Saturday. The Cavaliers went 3 for 4 when opting to run the ball on third downs against the Spiders.

Conversely, Richmond tallied 13 first downs. Last season, only one Virginia opponent tallied as few as 13 first downs. North Carolina managed just nine first downs in a 16-3 Cavaliers win Oct. 3, 2009.

By Steve Yanda  |  September 7, 2010; 9:07 AM ET
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