CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Earlier in the season, Bronco Mendenhall said for the program to continue to grow it needed strong play from the offensive line and he says they took a big step against North Carolina.
"In terms of the expectations that were and still need to be met, I think they've been trending the correct direction ever since then," Mendenhall said about the lines' play this season, "And I think this was another step."
Virginia sits at 118th in the country in sacks allowed and 121st in rushing yards per game with just 108.7 through week 10. But the Wahoos offensive line held the Tar Heels pass rush to just three sacks and three quarterback hurries, while paving the way for more than 100 yards for just the fifth time this season.
"I think now we're getting the most blitzes we could possibly get in practice just to prepare for the worst and that obviously worked for this week," junior guard Chris Glaser said.
The improved protection helped Bryce Perkins to his second best passer rating of his career at 183.7 and his first 100 yard rushing game of the season.
"Bryce had a lot of time, an appropriate time to throw and deliver the ball effectively," Mendenhall said, "He was not under stress consistently."
Despite the uptick in performance, the offensive line knows this is just a baseline for what they should do every week.
"I think what we did this weekend shouldn't be any real buzz," Glaser said, "I think this weekend is what we should've been doing this whole time and that's just kinda like our job is to protect as long as possible."