Bryce Perkins passed for two touchdowns and ran for one score as Virginia improved to 6-0 at home with a 55-27 win against Liberty on Saturday afternoon in nonconference action in Charlottesville, Va.
Perkins passed for 199 yards for the Cavaliers (8-3), who won their third straight game and scored their most points since a 56-32 victory against North Carolina on Sept. 11, 2004.
Stephen Calvert passed for 283 yards, two touchdowns and two rare interceptions for the Flames (6-5).
De’Vante Cross had both picks for Virginia, which scored 28 unanswered points spanning the second and third quarters to break open the game.
The Cavaliers began the second half with a little trickery, extending the lead to 31-14 on Perkins’ 7-yard TD pass to Joe Reed. The score came after a fake field goal, with backup quarterback Brennan Armstrong tossing a 24-yard completion to linebacker Charles Snowden.
A 14-yard punt by Liberty from its own end zone gave the Cavaliers a short field on their next possession. Perkins scrambled 2 yards for his ninth rushing touchdown of the season and a 38-14 lead.
Antonio Gandy-Golden answered with his ninth touchdown reception, a one-handed grab in the end zone on an 8-yard pass from Calvert. That trimmed the Flames’ deficit to 38-21 entering the fourth quarter, but it was all Virginia from there.
The Cavaliers finished with 499 yards of offense, including a season-high 227 rushing yards.
Virginia took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter with Perkins’ 8-yard scoring strike to Terrell Jana and Brian Delaney’s 26-yard field goal.
Held to minus-9 yards on six plays on its first two drives, Liberty gained 140 yards on 14 plays on its next two possessions and seized a 14-10 lead. The Flames found the end zone on Frankie Hickson’s 6-yard run and Calvert’s 32-yard pass to Noah Frith.
Momentum swung back to Virginia with the first half’s only turnover, a mental mistake by Calvert.
Under pressure and trying to throw the ball away, Calvert’s deep pass was picked off by Cross and returned 52 yards to the Liberty 42. That snapped a streak of 295 consecutive passes without an interception by the Flames’ senior quarterback, dating to Sept. 7.
Five plays later, Virginia capitalized with a 3-yard touchdown run by Lamont Atkins to retake the lead at 17-14. The Cavaliers made it 24-14 before intermission on Mike Hollins’ 4-yard TD run.
—Field Level Media