University of Virginia athletic director Gene Corrigan sat in the Scott Stadium press box with five minutes remaining in his team's game with Duke today and watched intensely.
"Come on guys, score," he pleaded. "Please score."
Corrigan's wish was granted. Paul Izlar scored and 26,000 fans went wild.
But Duke ended up with a ridiculously easy 31-7 victory. Coach Dick Bestwick's team consoled itself with its first points of the year, averting a fourth straight shutout dating back to Nov. 13 of last season.
"It was noce to score," Izlar said seriously. "This will help give us confidence for the rest of the season."
The Cavs will need confidence and more if they are to come close to beating West Virginia next week or anyone else in the future. They were dominated today by a team that came in with an 0-2 record and never has been known for an explosive offense.
"But I think this is the best team Mike McGee has had at Duke," insisted Bestwick. "They're strong all around on offense and on defense. And (Mike) Dunn is a super athlete."
Quarterback Mike Dunn was Duke's best weapon. Although he did not handle the ball nearly as much as normally - he didn't need to - he handled it on the crucial plays of Duke's methodical grind-it-out scoring drives.
The Blue Devils scored on a 39-yard Scott Wolcott field goal in the first quarter, on a three-yard run by Ned Gonet (from Oakton High School) and on a five-yard Dunn-to-Glenn Sandefur pass in the second, then finished with one-yard runs by Stanley Broadie and Mike Barney in the third and fourth quarters.
"I was pleased with the way we sustained our offense during most of the game and by the fact that we played so many people," McGee said. "It's hard to assess whether they're as strong as they were last year," he said of Virginia.
Dunn, who left the game with a twisted ankle before the end of the third quarter - he was later joined on the bench by most of the other starters - was a little less generous. "I think we could've scored some more on them if we really wanted to," he said with a small smile.
The cheers of Izlar were among the first heard in the almost silent stadium all afternoon. While the players were elated Bestwick, looking at an 0-3 record, didn't let it go to his head.
"Right now," he summed up, "I'm disappointed with everything."