Turnover-prone Spiders blown out at UVA

The No. 17/20 Richmond football team fell to the Virginia Cavaliers, 45-13, Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium. With the loss, the Spiders fall to 1-1 on the season, while Virginia improved to 1-1 on the year.

Despite the loss, the Spiders outgained the Cavaliers, 391-330, in total yards, 363 of which were passing.  Virginia-transfer QB Michael Struass led both teams with 266 yards off 24-of-36 passes, while WR Stephen Barnette also picked up a game-high 124 receiving yards on 10 receptions for his eighth 100-yard game in his career.

Another UVA transfer, QB Michael Rocco, returned to Scott Stadium to help lead the Spider offense. The redshirt-senior threw 5-of-11 for 97 yards and a rushing touchdown.

In the first possession of the game, Richmond got things rolling as Strauss connected on three-straight passes to get the Spiders in Cavalier territory. Rocco made his first appearance on the fifth play of the game as the redshirt senior rushed for five yards for a Richmond first down.

The two quarterbacks helped Richmond get to the Virginia eight-yard line to set up an easy 28-yard field goal attempt for K Peter Yoder to be the first on the board and take a 3-0 lead.

Virginia answered with 14-straight points to go into the half with a 14-3 lead.

The Spiders outgained the Cavaliers 174-143 in total yards and out passed Virginia by 110 yards in the first half. Strauss led the offense with 13-of-20 passes for 172 yards, while Ponder picked up five catches for 82 yards, including a long of 29, in the first 30 minutes of play.

After 10-straight points from Virginia, Richmond picked up seven points with a touchdown run. Rocco capped off a nine-play, 71-yard drive with a diving rush into the endzone to make it a 31-13 ball game going into the fourth quarter.

14 more points in the fourth quarter by the Cavaliers gave Richmond its first loss of the season.

The Spiders will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 13 when it returns home to host Hampton at 6 p.m. at Robins Stadium.

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