No. 25 Virginia started off their ACC clash with Pitt on Friday night by fumbling twice on the opening kickoff and then embarking on an eight play drive that covered all of 10 yards.
Things did improve from there for the Cavaliers but that opening was a good tone-setter for a low-scoring first half that wrapped up with a narrow 10-7 lead in rainy and, needless to say, very wet conditions down in Charlottesville.
UVA quarterback Bryce Perkins was able to find some success moving the football once an initial downpour moved away from the area in the first quarter. The dual-threat couldn’t quite showcase his ability to run the football but did pass for 169 yards and a score, the majority of which came on a beautiful over the shoulder touchdown toss to Terrell Jana that went for 42 yards. Tailback Jordan Ellis had just seven carries as a result of the conditions but didn’t have a run over five yards and was stuck at 19 for the game.
The Panthers were not all that much better offensively but did turn in a big play of their own to get on the board. That came courtesy of running back Darrin Hall, who took his first touch 41 yards to the house on a beautifully blocked off-tackle run that featured plenty of water flying off his feet as he ran down across the goal line. QB Kenny Pickett was a nice 6-of-9 passing but it was only for 57 yards as the team failed to convert any third downs before heading to the locker room.
The field, and conditions in general, did improve as the game wore on and that could result in a jump in offensive production for the second half. Both teams will certainly hope that is the case given the stakes in this one with the winner taking control of the ACC Coastal.