Saturday, September 5, 2009

William and Mary Stuns UVA in College Football, 26-14

Earlier this evening the William and Mary Tribe stunned the University of Virginia Cavaliers, 26-14 in Charlottesville before a near-capacity crowd. What follows is an eyewitness account, bolstered by some statistics from an AP report posted on ESPN. For the ESPN report, and the box score posted on the William and Mary website, go here and here, respectively.

UVA led 14-13 at halftime, but the Tribe's rock-solid defense held Virginia to zero points in the second half. The Tribe took the lead in the third quarter, 16-14, with a field goal that capitalized after UVA muffed a punt that William and Mary recovered at the Virginia 9. The Tribe did not look back, adding another field goal in the fourth quarter before redshirt freshman B.W. Webb returned his third interception of the evening down the sideline 50 yards for a touchdown, putting the Tribe ahead 25-14 before the extra point and igniting pandemonium among William and Mary fans at the stadium. The Tribe sideline was penalized for entering the field, and UVA fans began streaming out of the stadium. A subsequent UVA drive fizzled on downs, and William and Mary ran out the clock.

Throughout the game the Tribe flawlessly executed a ball-control offense, mixing running and passing to remain on the field over 35 minutes, keep the Cavaliers off-balance and consume precious time, thereby keeping the Cavalier offense off the field and giving the Tribe defense time to rest and adjust to Virginia's evolving attack, which employed three different quarterbacks. The Tribe racked up 309 total yards, 184 passing and 125 rushing. R.J. Archer was 25-43 and threw for one tocuhdown and one interception, the latter of which was the functional equivalent of the punt on third and long, when Archer threw deep down the sideline. Jonathan Grimes led the Tribe running backs, with 46 yards on 19 carries, while quarterback R.J. Archer added 50 yards, including a 23 yard run that helped set up the Tribe's 4th field goal in the fourth quarter. Brian Pate kicked four field goals. Another attempt was blocked, a second from over forty yards hit the left upright, and a third missed wide.

All in all, UVA turned the ball over seven times and fumbled the ball out of bounds once as well. The Tribe defensive line and linebackers repeatedly harried UVA's quarterbacks, while Tribe quarterback R.J. Archer was sacked only once, for a four yard loss.

The Tribe entered the game ranked 14 in the Football Championship Series conference by the Sporting News, and 15th by USA today. No doubt the Tribe will move up in the rankings. This is the Tribe's first victory over an FBS opponent since it defeated Temple 45-38 in 1998. The Tribe defeated UVA in 1986, 41-37, in Charlottesville.

Update, 1:14 AM, Sunday, September 6. Here is a round up of stories about today's upset:

From the Daily Press of Hampton Roads;,0,6002823.story

From the William and Mary Flat Hat:

Some additional thoughts:

Both Tribe lines turned in outstanding performances.

[More to Come].