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Virginia defensive ends Eli Harold (7) and Max Valles (88) celebrate after Harold recovered a fumble by Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe in the first half of Saturday's game.
Virginia quarterback David Watford (5) looks to throw during the first half. of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)]
Sunday, October 13, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Before regular Virginia place-kicker Ian Frye injured a hip flexor in warm-ups Sept. 28 at Pittsburgh, all Alec Vozenilek did was punt.
And, he was taking care of business, too, booming a 77-yarder at Pittsburgh that was the fourth-longest in school history.
Four days later, he was the Cavaliers’ starting place-kicker.
“I hadn’t kicked in probably a year,” said Vozenilek, a walk-on from St. Christopher’s in Richmond, where he had kicked and punted.
“One time this summer, I was messing around outside. I kicked 10 balls and that was it.”
Vozenilek kicked two field goals in a 48-27 loss to Ball State, then went 4 for 4 on his first four attempts Saturday.
None was over 30 yards, which may have caused some to wonder about Virginia’s apparent effort to play for a field goal in the final minute Saturday against Maryland.
“Fifty [yards] and in, for sure, is a makeable field goal,” said Vozenilek of his range.
He had enough leg on his 42-yard attempt in the final minute against Maryland but it was wide to the right as the Terrapins held on for a 27-26 victory.
“I think the team believed in me and I believed in myself,” he said.
Nobody held it against Vozenilek.
“There were a lot of plays in that game today and it doesn’t come down to one play,” UVa center and co-captain Luke Bowanko said. “We have complete faith in Alec.”
UVa defensive tackle Brent Urban was on crutches after the game and was wearing a boot on his right foot as the result of an injury early in the second period.
Urban actually was credited with a sack on the play but trainers quickly ran across the field and he was assisted to the sideline, never to return.
“That definitely hurt,” defensive end and co-captain Jake Snyder said. “He’s our best defensive player. That’s the only way to put it. He’s been a force this year. Nobody’s been able to stop him.”
UVa already was without the services of Demetrious Nicholson, a cornerback who had made 30 consecutive starts before he was sidelined by a lower-extremity injury, according to the ACC’s injury report.
Tim Harris became the third true freshman to start for the Cavaliers, joining outside linebacker Max Valles and offensive tackle Eric Smith.
Tight end Jake McGee, who had caught eight passes for a career-high 114 yards, also had to come out of the game on the Cavaliers’ final offensive series but did not appear to have a serious injury when he addressed reporters after the game.
Another UVa tight end, Zach Swanson, returned to action after missing two games and had three receptions for 36 yards, not to mention an interference penalty that he drew on the Cavaliers’ ill-fated final drive.
By the numbers
The 11 receptions by UVa tight ends exceeded the seven completions that went to UVa wide receivers. Quarterback David Watford completed eight passes to his backs and also completed a pass to himself on a ball that was batted into the air by a Maryland rusher.
n After rushing for 236 yards against Ball State, the Cavaliers had 242 yards on the ground Saturday. Junior Kevin Parks led the way with 112 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season and the sixth of his career
Khalek Shepherd had 10 carries for 81 yards, including a 44-yard run that was his third of more than 30 yards this season. … Watford had career highs with 263 passing yards and 297 yards in total offense.
“These losses eventually have to stop. Coach [London] said it was his fault again. He was taking another bullet for us but there’s a time when it’s up to us players to capitalize,” McGee said.
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