Virginia unable to complete upset bid in 44-28 loss to Miami


Kurt Benkert's phenomenal start wasn't quite enough to propel the Cavaliers to an upset. 

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

It was always going to be a tough challenge for the Virginia football team Saturday as they took on No. 2 Miami on the road. The Cavaliers (6-5, 3-4 ACC), though vastly improved from last year and now bowl eligible, were massive underdogs against the second best team in the country — in their territory.

Despite eventually losing 44-28, Virginia shocked the nation for a little over a half, bringing their best game and raising more than a few eyes around the sports world. Senior quarterback Kurt Benkert started the game on fire, putting on a show that may have just raised his stock in next year’s draft. Benkert started the game completing 18-19 passes for 288 yards and four touchdowns to put Virginia up 28-14 in the second half. He would finish the game with arguably his best stat-line of the season, passing for 384 yards with a season-high four touchdowns and one interception.

However, the interception did prove costly, for it was run back for a touchdown, giving Miami seven points to get back into the game. Though Virginia’s passing attack was on full display Saturday, their rushing attack struggled, with Virginia rushing for a pedestrian 55 yards on 28 attempts, averaging just under two yards per carry.

After Virginia went up 28-14, all the momentum looked to be on the side of the Cavaliers, but they were not able to finish as Miami came all the way back for a 16-point win. The Hurricanes ended up scoring the final 30 points of the game.

Virginia will now head back home for their final game of the regular season, as they get set to take on their biggest rival in Virginia Tech Friday night. That game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will be nationally broadcast on ESPN.

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