First-year Armstrong again rewards UVA's confidence

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- As Bryce Perkins talked to reporters Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium -- shortly after talking to team trainers, and with a walking boot on his left foot -- the Virginia quarterback made it clear that he didn't plan on missing next Friday's regular season finale at Virginia Tech.

"I'm just going to get treatment and get ready," Perkins said. "Because I'm playing."

Perkins missed a first-quarter series in Saturday's 30-27 overtime loss at Georgia Tech after getting dragged down in the UVA end zone for a safety. At the time, the injury -- Perkins said he felt the ankle and knee on his left leg "pop" -- appeared serious enough to sideline the quarterback for an extended stretch.

With Perkins getting treated in the medical tent on the UVA sideline, the Cavaliers turned to true freshman Brennan Armstrong. Making his third college appearance, the left-hander wearing No. 98 looked unfazed. He broke an 11-yard run on third-and-nine to pick up a first down, then hit Joe Reed on a short route for another first down -- and Reed slipped away from a tackler for a 56-yard touchdown.

Armstrong finished his lone series 1-of-2 passing for those 56 yards -- and his first college touchdown pass -- plus 13 yards rushing on a pair of carries.

Perkins said he knew the offense was in good hands with his first-year backup.

"In the other games he came in he showed sparks, and he did a great job. So I knew," Perkins said. "I talked to him when I was going into the tent and I said, 'You got it?' And he said,' I got you.' So I knew he got me."

Armstrong made his college debut in mop-up duty late in the Cavaliers' season-opening win against Richmond. Saturday marked his second appearance in place of an injured Perkins. Armstrong's 34-yard keeper was the highlight of his lone series against Louisville, as that drive ended with a field goal.

"It's awesome. It seems like each time he goes in there's something electric that happens, and he's a really good player," Bronco Mendenhall said of Armstrong following Saturday's loss. "But he has a presence that, we see it every day defensively, where he just kind of thinks he can move the ball against anyone, no matter the circumstance. And he's probably right."



 
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