TCU downs Virginia, 27-7
Cavalier offense commits four turnovers in second straight blowout road loss
The Virginia football team fell to 2-2 with a second straight blowout road loss in a 27-7 thrashing by No. 17 TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Cavaliers’ (2-2, 0-1 ACC) offense committed four turnovers and failed to reach the red zone until the second half. The team’s defense struggled to slow junior quarterback Casey Pachall and the talented TCU (3-0, 1-0 Big 12) offense.
The Horned Frogs scored on their first drive on a breakout 68-yard touchdown pass from Pachall to sophomore wide receiver Brandon Carter to begin an afternoon-long aerial assault. Pachall completed 21-of-32 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns to help propel TCU to the longest winning streak in the nation at 11 games.
Pachall’s counterpart, Cavalier junior quarterback Michael Rocco, completed just 13-of-28 passes for 126 yards and two interceptions before being replaced in favor of sophomore Phillip Sims on the second drive of the fourth quarter.
Despite running more plays than TCU and gaining nearly as many yards, Virginia’s offense was done in by committing too many turnovers. The Horned Frogs capitalized on one such gaffe to extend their lead to 14-0 after sophomore running back Kevin Parks — who rushed for a game-high 84 yards on 12 carries — coughed up possession in Virginia territory early in the second quarter.
Virginia’s next drive ended with another turnover, this time on a Rocco interception, and the Horned Frogs marched down to the Cavaliers’ 3-yard line before freshman cornerback Maurice Canady bailed out his offense by accomplishing a feat that had eluded the Cavalier defense all season: forcing a turnover. Canady picked off Pachall’s third-down pass for the first interception of his career to make Virginia the final team in the ACC to register an interception.
The Cavaliers went three-and-out on their next possession and completed just 1-of-11 third down opportunities with Rocco in the game. Coach Mike London turned to Sims to relieve Rocco for the fourth straight game with 12:02 remaining and Virginia trailing 20-0. On his team’s lone scoring drive, Sims hits sophomore wide receiver Dominique Terrell for a 40-yard pass and capped the 14-play, 89-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown strike to sophomore wide receiver E.J. Scott to avoid the shutout.
Virginia will return to Charlottesville to face Louisiana Tech Saturday.