EditorsNote: Several adjustments throughout, and stats added in last graf
Nick Grant returned an interception 85 yards for a touchdown, and Virginia scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in the first half as the Cavaliers rolled to a 52-17 home victory over the William & Mary Tribe on Friday night at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Grant’s interception gave Virginia (2-0) a 14-0 first-quarter lead little more than eight minutes into the game and dashed William & Mary’s hopes of making things competitive. Virginia rolled up 258 yards in the first half and established control from the opening kickoff.
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins accounted for 218 yards in the first half, passing for 159 yards and running for 59 more. The senior hit receiver Joe Reed for a 40-yard touchdown strike to open the scoring and rushed for a 7-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 near the end of the first quarter.
In addition to Grant’s pick-six, Virginia struck on special teams in the first half. After William & Mary kicked a 40-yard field goal with 9:06 left in the second quarter following a fumble recovery in Virginia territory, Reed posted his second touchdown of the game on a 100-yard kickoff return to make the score 35-3.
The first half would have been even more of a rout if Virginia had not turned the ball over twice. Virginia’s fumble on a punt return gave William & Mary its only points of the opening 30 minutes. Perkins, who was effective for most of the night, threw an interception at the Tribe’s 10-yard line with less than four minutes left in the half.
According to Virginia’s sports information department, the interception was Perkins’ first in 145 attempts, snapping what had been the longest active streak without an interception in the FBS.
Virginia’s defense overwhelmed its FCS opponent. The Cavaliers limited William & Mary (1-1) to 49 yards in the first half, allowing just one third-down conversion in eight attempts. William & Mary starting quarterback Hollis Mathis didn’t complete a pass in the first half, going 0-for-4 with one interception, Grant’s pick-six. Kilton Anderson replaced Mathis early in the second half, and completed 4 of 8 passes for 103 yards.
—Field Level Media