Wayne Schuchts didn't reflect on his performance in last Saturday's 38-30 victory over Duke until the following morning.
"On Saturday I just went out and did what I thought I could do best," said Schuchts, who threw for three touchdowns, scored a fourth on a one-yard run and completed 10 of 21 passes for 275 yards.
"After the game, there was a feeling of euphoria. But I woke up nervous the next day. My family was here and they brought in all the papers, and then I really realized it: I had gone head to head with Ben Bennett and Duke. Bennett had a great game (25 of 40 passes completed for 253 yards and three touchdowns) and we still beat them.
"So many things came together so well. They just unfolded."
The unfolding was especially satisfying because the year before, Duke had beaten Virginia, 51-17, in Durham. "The feeling of going over to Bennett after this game was a lot different," Schuchts said. "This time he was more solemn."
Getting ready for Saturday's game with visiting Navy, Virginia Coach George Welsh wouldn't dwell too heavily on his team's opener. "We just guessed right a lot," he said. "Wayne had so many big plays, a lot of yards."
Until last week, Welsh said, Schuchts was competing against Mike Eck for the quarterback spot. But Eck's slight shoulder separation early in the week led Welsh to keep him out of the Duke game.
"I'd like to think it wasn't just his shoulder, but a spark on my part that got me into it," Schuchts said. He bristles at the suggestion that he backed into the job. "It came down to two guys who want to play the same position, and it was a very competitive time (last season)," he said. "But I think I've done well, and people saying I just backed into this turn me off."
In practice late last week, Welsh said, Schuchts looked particularly strong. "We saw signs the last few days of practice," he said. "(Based on that) Wayne had the job."
Now, Welsh said, "Wayne is our quarterback. Unless something drastic might happen, it's his job."
Welsh keeps insisting his players "did a lot of good guessing" last Saturday, but Schuchts said, "What he calls good guessing is actually very good planning. The coaches have us well prepared."
Schuchts finds the biggest difference between last year's 2-9 team and this one is more determination.
"Last year even our practices were inconsistent," he said. "But now I think a lot of players see the commitment from the athletic department and coaches, and are making a bigger commitment themselves. And because of that, I think maybe some of the skeptical fans were surprised when we beat Duke, but the players weren't."
Schuchts believes the "positives from last week will feed off each other (throughout the season). The fact that we responded to the situation--that gives me the feeling that what we worked for is coming together."