CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Brennan Armstrong threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Virginia beat William & Mary 43-0 on in the opener for both teams Saturday night.
Armstrong hit Demick Starling on a 65-yard scoring pass and Ra’Shaun Henry from five yards out. It was Henry’s fifth touchdown in eight catches at Virginia.
Freshman Darius Wilson started at quarterback for William & Mary in place of Hollis Mathis, still recovering from shoulder surgery, and got a rude welcome to the college game. He completed nine of 15 passes, but for just 83 yards, and ran for 29 yards on six carries. The Tribe managed just 183 yards.
Armstrong, who scored on runs of 2 and 3 yards, completed 20 of 30 attempts for 336 yards. The Cavaliers finished with 545 total yards.
It was their first shutout since they beat South Carolina 28-0 in the Belk Bowl at the end of the 2018 season.
Virginia started slow, twice failing to convert on fourth-down short-yardage situations, but Armstrong’s first scoring run nine minutes before halftime got them started. He hit Henry in the left corner of the end zone with 32 seconds left in the second quarter. His pass to Starling broke the game open in the third quarter.
William & Mary: The Tribe has all its starters back from last spring, when they finished 1-2, but three were absent from the lineup because of injury, including Mathis, a dual threat. Coach Mike London said this week Mathis would be a game-time decision, but also that he didn’t want to rush him back and risk losing him for the season.
Virginia: The Cavaliers registered only one sack against Wilson, although they had him scrambling quite a bit, and preserved the shutout when Nick Grant blocked a 36-yard field goal try by Ethan Chang.
William & Mary opens its home season against Lafayette on Saturday.
Virginia remains at home to face Illinois of the Big Ten next Saturday.
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