Devils Fall To #18 Virginia 27-0

After all the preseason hype and positive press, the Blue Devils were no match for a highly motivated Virginia squad bent on making a statement in the season opener. The Cavaliers struck on their first possession, and coasted from there en route to a 27-0 victory.

However the win may have come with a hefty price tag for the 18th ranked Cavaliers (1-0, 1-0) as starting quarterback Matt Schaub was lost on the first series to an arm injury that forced him to the sidelines for the remainder of the game.

Virginia coach Al Groh indicated that Schaub would be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, but wouldn't elaborate further on the status of his star signal caller.

"We don't talk about injuries. This is our team as it is constructed now. This is the way that we're going to play. As soon as we start talking about that, we start buying into a built-in excuse," said Groh. "We have high aspirations for our team this year. Our team was redefined tonight. That's the way we are probably going to be playing for a little bit. And that's the way it is."

Even without Schuab Virginia had little trouble establishing a high level of dominance early, behind redshirt freshman Anthony Martinez who found Heath Miller in the end zone on a nine yard strike that gave the Cavaliers a 17-0 halftime advantage.

Martinez finished 6-for-15 for 76 yards.

While Virginia was adapting to less than ideal circumstances, the Blue Devils (0-1, 0-1) were struggling to find any sort of momentum on the offensive side of the ball. Starting quarterback Adam Smith completed just six of his 20 pass attempts for 47 yards before being benched in favor of back up Mike Schneider.

Schneider finished five of nine for 73 yards.

Meanwhile the running game was also struggling to find itself as senior Chris Douglas was the only Blue Devil able to gain significant yardage all night. Douglas finished with 89 yards on 19 carries. Fellow All-ACC selection Alex Wade was only able to gain four yards on one carry before being forced to the sidelines with reported hamstring problems.

Duke's best scoring opportunity came late in the second quarter when Brent Garber's 49 yard field goal attempt was blocked.

The loss extends the Blue Devils' record setting ACC losing streak to 26 straight games.

Duke looks to even its record next week against I-AA opponent Western Carolina in Wallace Wade Stadium.

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