Virginia Opens Season with ACC Road-Win at Pitt

UVA opens season with win at Pittsburgh.
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PITTSBURGH (UVA Athletics) -- Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) opened the 2019 season with a 30-14 win against Atlantic Coast Conference divisional-foe Pitt (0-1, 0-1 ACC) on Saturday night at Heinz Field. The Cavaliers scored 10-straight points to start the game and held the Panthers scoreless in the second half.

It was the first win for UVA at Pitt and the Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak to the Panthers. Virginia had 310 yards to 263 for Pitt and had the edge in time of possession (34:16). The defense came up with two takeaways, four sacks and seven tackles for loss and UVA blocked a punt on special teams.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cavaliers took a 10-0 lead after linebacker Noah Taylor (Silver Spring, Md.) blocked a punt that led to a touchdown pass from quarterback Bryce Perkins (Queen Creek, Ariz.) to tailback Chris Sharp (Burlington, N.J.) in the first quarter. UVA led 13-7 in the second quarter, but Pitt scored just before the half to lead 14-13. Brian Delaney (Chantilly, Va.) kicked a 45-yard field goal to put UVA back in front as the Virginia defense did not allow another score for the Panthers.

Linebacker Matt Gahm (Dallas, Texas) grabbed his first career interception in the third quarter that led to a touchdown by wide receiver Hasise Dubois (Irvington, N.J.). An interception by safety Joey Blount (Atlanta, Ga.) and a pass-breakup by cornerback Bryce Hall (Harrisburg, Pa.) halted drives by Pitt in the fourth quarter. The first career touchdown for running back Wayne Taulapapa (Laie, Hawaii) punctuated the win.

STAT LEADERS
QB Bryce Perkins
Passing: 181 yards, 2 TDs
Rushing: 44 yards

RB Wayne Taulapapa
10 carries, 66 yards, 1 TD

WR Hasise Dubois
4 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD

LB Zane Zandier
9 tackles, 0.5 TFL

FS Joey Blount
7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT

NOTES
• UVA is 4-0 under Bronco Mendenhall in ACC openers.
• UVA had eight collegiate debuts against Pitt. LS Enzo Anthony**, DT Jowon Briggs**, LS Lee Dudley, WR Dorien Goddard**, RB Mike Hollins**, ILB Nick Jackson**, C Olusegun Oluwatimi, WR Dontayvion Wicks**.
• First collegiate starts: TB Wayne Taulapapa, WR Terrell Chatman, C Olusegun Oluwatimi, NT Jowon Briggs**, OLB Matt Gahm, CB Nick Grant.
• PK Brian Delaney tied a career high with three field goals (39, 36, 45).
• OLB Matt Gahm made his first career interception in the third quarter. It led to a touchdown pass from Bryce Perkins to Hasise Dubois. It was the first interception by a UVA linebacker since Charles Snowden at Virginia Tech last year.
• TB Wayne Taulapapa carried the ball for the first time in his career, finishing with 66 rushing yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
• OLB Noah Taylor blocked the first punt of his career in the first quarter. It was the first UVA blocked punt since Charles Snowden at Miami in 2017.
• WR Terrell Chatman had a career-long 33-yard reception in the second quarter.

UP NEXT
Virginia will host William & Mary in its home opener on Friday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. at Scott Stadium. The game will air on ACC Network.

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