2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - Virginia at Indiana
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Sept. 10 Virginia 34 … at Indiana 31
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Virginia finally stole a road win.
Defensive end Cam Johnson ripped the ball right out of Edward Wright-Baker's hands with 1:13 left in Saturday night's game, setting up a 23-yard field goal from Robert Randolph to give the Cavaliers a 34-31 come-from-behind win at Indiana.
Second-year coach Mike London improved to 1-5 all-time outside of Charlottesville, and it came with another shocking twist in a bizarre game.
Indiana (0-2) seemed poised to give new head coach Kevin Wilson his first victory after rallying from a 20-point second half deficit by turning three late turnovers into three touchdowns and 31-23 lead with just 6:34 to play.
Virginia (2-0), however, had the answer.
The Cavaliers drove down the field, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Perry Jones to close to 31-29. Michael Rocco connected with tight end Paul Freedman, who twisted his way into the end zone for the tying 2-point conversion.
It still wasn't over.
Indiana got the ball back with 1:36 and was playing to win in regulation. But on third-and-3 from the Hoosiers' 23, Wright-Baker took a seven-step drop and had barely set up in the pocket when the untouched Johnson raced around the corner. Wright-Baker never saw Johnson, who stripped the ball as both players fell to the ground at the Indiana 14.
Four plays later, Randolph trotted onto the field and lined up between the hash marks for the winning kick.
Kevin Parks carried 11 times for 37 and two touchdowns, while Jones carried 22 times for 78 yards and the one score.
Indiana, which trailed 23-3 early in the third quarter, got an 8-yard TD run from Matt Perez midway through the quarter to make it 24-10. Perez made it 23-17 on a 1-yard run, just five plays after Virginia lost a muffed punt at its own 19.
On the next series, Jones was stripped by Jarrell Drane, and Lawrence Barnett scooped up the bouncing ball and sprinted 54 yards to give Indiana its first lead at 24-23. It was Indiana's first fumble return for a TD since Sept. 20, 2008.
Then Chase Hoobler forced Rocco into a bad pass that was picked off by Greg Heban, his second of the game, and Indiana converted that into a juggling 18-yard TD pass from Wright-Baker to Duwyce Wilson for a 31-23 lead with 6:34 to play.
But the Cavaliers, who scored 10 points in the final 32 seconds of the first half, tied the score, got the turnover and made the field goal to win it.
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Virginia (1-0) at Indiana (0-1) Sept. 10, 7:00, Big Ten Network
Here’s The Deal … For only the second time ever—and first in Bloomington—Virginia and Indiana are set to meet on the gridiron. The Cavaliers will descend upon Big Ten country with the wind at its back courtesy of an impressive 40-3 win over a respectable William & Mary squad. Now in its second year under the guidance of head coach Mike London, UVa has designs on stepping up a rebuilding plan that’s been under construction for the past three seasons. The school last started 2-0 in 2005. Of course, it could be worse. The Cavs could be the Hoosiers, a hapless group that’s bowled one time since 1994. Shedding light on the extent of its problems in head coach Kevin Wilson’s debut, IU was unable to handle Ball State, one of this season’s Mid-American Conference also-rans.
Why Virginia Might Win: The Cavaliers are coming off a complete victory, a genuine confidence-builder. The offense perked up in the second half, getting a steady effort from first-time starting QB Michael Rocco and outstanding production from the ground game. Redshirt freshman Kevin Parks led the way with 114 yards and three scores on just 16 carries. He’ll be running behind a physical, Morgan Moses-led offensive line that rates a sizable edge over a feeble Hoosiers defense. IU failed to contain Ball State and its versatile QB Keith Wenning, allowing 10-of-14 third down attempts to be successfully converted.
Why Indiana Might Win: One of the few bright spots for the Hoosiers a week ago was the play of untested QB Edward Wright-Baker in his first career start. The nimble sophomore didn’t turn the ball over, finishing 20-of-32 for 272 yards and a touchdown pass. Even as WR Duwyce Wilson and TE Ted Bolser recover from nagging injuries, the quarterback has a gifted set of receivers to employ that’s paced by Damarlo Belcher. The senior all-star candidate on the outside will be especially lethal when matched up with true freshman CB Demetrious Nicholson. While the rookie has a great future in Charlottesville, he’s not quite in the same league as the Cavs’ other starting corner, NFL-ready Chase Minnifield.
What To Watch Out For: The Hoosiers’ need to block much better on offense might have to wait another week. What made Wright-Baker’s debut so impressive is that he spent so much of it evading pressure. The Cavaliers are capable of putting him in a similar situation this Saturday, compromising the pocket with a mix of DE Cam Johnson, LB LaRoy Reynolds and tackles Nick Jenkins and Matt Conrath. If Indiana fails to contain the Virginia front seven, the home team will struggle to complete passes beyond dump-offs and quick slants.
What Will Happen: Two programs heading in opposite directions will continue down those disparate paths. Virginia is confident. Indiana is confused. With better talent at his disposal and an extra year of prep time, London is way ahead of Wilson in the rebuilding race. The Cavaliers are also home to the better running game and defense, two key elements to picking up a road victory. They’ll control the line of scrimmage throughout the night, creating running room for Parks and Perry Jones. The defense won’t have many issues corralling a one-note IU offense that blocks poorly and can’t run the ball with any consistency.
CFN Prediction: Virginia 29 … Indiana 17
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Virginia -6.5 O/U: 55.5
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