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UCONN vs. Virginia football: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Cavaliers host Huskies in nonconference showdown

Chris Peace #13 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrates making an interception during the second half of a game against the William & Mary Tribe at Scott Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Chris Peace #13 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrates making an interception during the second half of a game against the William & Mary Tribe at Scott Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)

Virginia looks to avenge last season's loss at Connecticut when the Cavaliers host the Huskies in a non-conference game Saturday. Virginia will hope to get its ground game in gear after rushing for only 55 yards in last week's 34-17 loss to Indiana

As the Cavaliers continue to struggle on the ground, Kurt Benkert has shouldered the load by throwing 105 passes (third-most in the nation) with four touchdowns over the first two games.

TV: Noon, ET. ESPN2. LINE: Virginia -10

 

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Benkert threw the ball a program-record 66 times last week but netted only 259 yards through the air as he was plagued by dropped balls and constant pressure. UConn will start Bryant Shirreffs at quarterback after the senior came off the bench to save the Huskies from a possible embarrassing setback at the hands of FCS foe Holy Cross in their season opener.

The Huskies had their game against nationally ranked and American Athletic Conference favorite South Florida canceled last week because of Hurricane Irma.

ABOUT UCONN (1-0)

Coach Randy Edsall's return to the Connecticut sidelines looked like it wouldn't end well before watching Shirreffs rescue the Huskies to a 27-20 victory with three straight scoring drives in the second half. Shirreffs was 9 of 13 for 124 yards and one touchdown, an 11-yard connection with Hergy Mayala for the go-ahead score against the Crusaders. David Pindell, a junior college transfer making his UConn debut, was 19 of 28 for 154 yards but failed to get the Huskies into the end zone in his time under center.

ABOUT VIRGINIA (1-1)

“Our inefficiency running the football is shifting pressure to the throw game,” Cavaliers' coach Bronco Mendenhall told reporters after the loss to Indiana. Against the Hoosiers, the Cavaliers needed 25 rushing attempts to gain 55 yards, a week after Virginia gained only 92 yards in its victory against FCS opponent William & Mary. Benkert has gone 162 throws without an interception but most have been short throws as Olamide Zaccheaus caught 12 passes against the Hoosiers last week, but for only 72 yards.

EXTRA POINTS

1. UConn freshman RB Nate Hopkins racked up 130 yards on 20 carries and scored three touchdowns in his collegiate debut last week.

2. Mendenhall has no confidence in his kicking game after converting only five field goals all of last season. Virginia is 1-for-2 on the season on field goals in 2017 and Mendenhall has already opted for fourth-down conversion attempts seven times, converting three.

3. Virginia star CB Tim Harris is out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery.

PREDICTION: Virginia 24, UConn 21