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Virginia Wins 38-20 Over Duke in Season-Opener



CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) opened the 2020 season with a 38-20 win over Duke (0-3, 0-3 ACC) on Saturday (Sept. 26) afternoon at Scott Stadium.

Virginia scored three straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter, two off of turnovers, in the win. The Cavaliers forced seven turnovers in the game, including five interceptions by four different players.

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong (Shelby, Ohio) made his first career start, throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for one. Wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. (Dorchester, S.C.) made his collegiate debut with 101 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Wayne Taulapapa (Laie, Hawaii) added two rushing touchdowns.




Virginia’s fumble on the opening kickoff led to Duke’s first possession. UVA’s defense limited the Blue Devils to a field goal with two TFL and a big tackle by Mandy Alonso on third and goal. The Blue Devils added at touchdown late in the first quarter to lead 10-0 through one.

Virginia scored its first touchdown when Armstrong ran it in from four yards out. On UVA’s next possession, Taulapapa scored his first touchdown of the season by rushing for 22 of the team’s 53 yards on the drive. Brian Delaney (Chantilly, Va.) converted a 32-yard field goal to put UVA in front 17-10.

Duke scored 10 consecutive points to begin the second half and regain the lead, 20-17. Virginia responded with back-to-back touchdowns receptions by Davis Jr. from Armstrong. Davis Jr. scored on 18-yard and 39-yard receptions.


Brennan Armstrong, QB

  • Passing: 269 yards, 2 TD
  • Rushing: 47 yards, 1 TD

Wayne Taulapapa, RB

  • 95 yards, 2 TD

Lavel Davis Jr., WR

  • 4 receptions, 101 yards, 2 TD

Zane Zandier, ILB

  • 15 tackles, 2.0 TFL


“It was fun to watch our team play football. Lots to learn and plenty of things to improve. But, they were resilient and they played through their mistakes and different miscues, and ultimately pulled away toward the end. I’m encouraged. Certainly, lots of work, but I’m encouraged.”


  • OL Dillon Reinkensmeyer started at left guard, making him the only player in all of FBS since 2010 to start at least one career game at all five offensive line positions. He owns 21 career starts at center, 12 at right tackle, two at right guard, two at right tackle and now one at left guard.
  • QB Brennan Armstrong made his first career start and became only the second left-handed quarterback to start a game for Virginia.
  • Armstrong finished with 269 passing yards, becoming the 21st Cavalier quarterback to throw for 150+ yards in his first career UVA start. His 269 yards rank No. 2 for most passing yards in a first career UVA start.
  • Davis Jr. finished with four receptions for 101 yards in his debut, highlighted by his first two career touchdown receptions, both coming in the fourth quarter. His first went for 18 yards and his second went for 26 yards.
  • QB Iraken Armstead notched his first career reception in the second quarter for five yards.
  • PK Brian Delaney finished 1-of-1 on field goals (32), extending his FBS-best streak to 14 consecutive makes.
  • S D’Angelo Amos notched his first Virginia interception in the second quarter. It was the third of his career. He notched two at JMU.
  • ILB Zane Zandier notched a career-high 15 tackles. His previous high was 10 against Ohio in 2018.
  • SS Brenton Nelson notched a career-high two interceptions, both coming in the third quarter. They serve as the seventh and eighth of his career. It was the second home game in a row a Cavalier intercepted two passes. Noah Taylor also did so against Virginia Tech in the 2019 regular season finale.
  • TB Wayne Taulapapa rushed 16 times for a career-high 95 yards. His previous high was 77 against Duke last year.
  • FS Joey Blount recorded his first interception of the season and sixth of his career.


Virginia will make its first road trip of the season, traveling to play at No. 1 Clemson on Saturday, Oct. 3. The game will kick at 8 p.m. on ACCN.

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