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Looking Back at Virginia's Epic Two-Game Series with BYU in 2013 and 2014

The Cavaliers and Cougars split a highly-competitive home-and-home series back when Bronco Mendenhall was still head coach at BYU

Virginia and BYU will meet on Saturday night for just the sixth time ever. Although the programs have played each other only five times, each of those five matchups have been hard-fought and entertaining, with each game being determined by single-digit margins.

The Cavaliers and Cougars last met in a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014, when Mike London was head coach of Virginia and Bronco Mendenhall was head coach of BYU.

The scores of the two matchups were close, but the games themselves could not have been more different. One was a defensive slugfest on a rainy August evening in Charlottesville. The other was an offensive shootout on a sunny September day in Provo.

August 31, 2013: BYU at Virginia 

UVA hosted BYU in the 2013 season opener in the first meeting between the two programs since 2000. Late in the first quarter, the game was stopped for thunderstorms and delayed for over two hours. When play finally resumed, the fans who returned to watch the rain-soaked spectacle were treated to quite an entertaining game.

It took almost an entire half for either team to put any points on the board. Taysom Hill threw a touchdown pass to JD Falslev to put BYU up 7-0 with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Virginia responded with a 12-0 run lasting into the fourth quarter. Ian Frye hit a 53-yard field goal to put the Hoos on the board heading into the halftime break. UVA’s Anthony Harris blocked a BYU punt on the first possession of the second half, setting up a Virginia touchdown three plays later. Quarterback David Watford rolled out to his right and threw an 11-yard pass on the run to the back right corner of the end zone to Darius Jennings, who made a spectacular catch, dragging a toe just barely in bounds to give the Hoos the lead. UVA added to its lead as Hill botched a snap and it went into the end zone for a safety.

BYU answered back with a Taysom Hill touchdown run and a field goal to take a 16-12 lead with 5:02 left in the fourth quarter. Virginia went three-and-out, but then Anthony Harris intercepted Hill on the ensuing BYU drive. Harris returned the interception a few yards before pitching the ball to linebacker Henry Coley who took it to the BYU 13-yard line. On the next play, Kevin Parks ran the ball in for a 13-yard touchdown to give UVA a 19-16 lead with 2:36 left in regulation. BYU had two more chances to tie the game, but the Cavalier defense held the Cougars at bay to secure the win.

See the full highlights of the game on the ACC Digital Network here: 

September 20, 2014: Virginia at No. 21 BYU

The next season, the Cavaliers went out to Provo to play the Cougars, who were ranked No. 21 in the country at the time. UVA had a great start to the game, as Darius Jennings returned the opening kick out to midfield. Quarterback Greyson Lambert had a 37-yard run and then punched in the touchdown from one yard out to give Virginia a 7-0 lead just 1:06 into the game. Ian Frye kicked three field goals in the first half and UVA went into halftime with a 16-13 lead.

BYU outscored UVA 14-0 in the third quarter on touchdown runs by Taysom Hill and Jamaal Williams and the Cougars took a 27-16 lead into the fourth quarter. After another Ian Frye field goal, Taysom Hill found Mitch Juergens for a 50-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-19 with a little over ten minutes left in the fourth quarter.

UVA responded with a long drive, capped off by a Khalek Shepherd touchdown run to cut the deficit to eight points with eight minutes remaining. Shepherd finished with 14 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown.

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Just as the Cavaliers thought they had a chance to mount a comeback, BYU’s Adam Hine returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to demolish UVA’s momentum and replenish the Cougars’ lead to 41-26.

Virginia made one last push, as Matt Johns, who replaced Greyson Lambert after he left the game with an injury, found Kyle Dockins for an 11-yard touchdown. UVA tried an onside kick but BYU recovered to seal the win.

Virginia had 519 yards of total offense as compared to BYU’s 332 total yards. UVA also dominated time of possession, holding the ball for over 40 minutes of the game. But, the Cavaliers consistently settled for field goals in the red zone, while BYU cashed in with touchdowns on their scoring drives and that was the difference.

See the full highlights of the game on the ACC Digital Network here: 

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