CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Brennan Armstrong and Lavel Davis Jr. teamed up on a pair of early fourth-quarter touchdown passes and Virginia rallied past Duke, 38-20, on Saturday night.
Armstrong hit Davis, a freshman, on an 18-yard fade route in the left corner of the end zone to give the Cavaliers (1-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 24-20 lead. After Joey Blount’s interception, he hit him for 26 yards, with Davis pulling away from two Duke defenders about eight yards from the end zone and powering his way in.
The Blue Devils (0-3, 0-3), whose games have all come in the season debut of their opponent, turned the ball over seven times after hurting their cause with five turnovers last week in a loss to Boston College. Their start is their worst since the 2010 team lost its first six games.
Wayne Taulapapa ran for a pair of touchdown for the Cavaliers, including a 10-yard burst with about 5 minutes left that put the game away. It came after Duke backup quarterback Gunnar Holmberg fumbled the ball on a fourth-and-1 play from the Blue Devils’ 29.
Armstrong finished 24 for 45 for 269 yards in his first career start with two interceptions. Taulapapa gained 95 yards, a career-high, on 16 carries.
The Cavaliers have now won six straight in the series.
Duke: Quarterback Chase Brice had a rough day, throwing four interceptions, but made a few clutch plays despite often heavy pressure. He connected with Jalon Calhoun for 34 yards on a third-and-10 play from his own 16 on a drive that led to a field goal, and hit Darrell Harding Jr. for 31 yards on a third-and-9 play on a drive that ended with one of his picks. He finished 16 for 36 for 246 yards with two touchdowns.
Virginia: Davis, who is 6-foot-7, made quite an impression, finishing with four catches for 101 yards, and his best catch was overturned. On the play, he caught a 27-yard pass over a defender, juggling the ball before cradling it as he hit the ground, but officials overruled the catch.
Duke is at home against Virginia Tech next Saturday.
Virginia travels to No. 1 Clemson in a rematch of last year’s ACC championship game.
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