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Armstrong Starring for Virginia

By BJ Bennett
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His play is setting the tone for a talented team.

What a performance from Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong. He completed 27-of-36 passes for 405 yards and five touchdowns, adding 31 yards rushing, in an impressive 42-14 victory over Illinois. It's a continuation of play for the star signal caller for the Cavaliers, who opened the season with 339 yards passing, two passing scores and two rushing touchdowns in a win over William & Mary. Armstrong, in fact, has scored multiple times in eight straight games since getting injury against NC State last season.

The 6'2'', 215-pound Ohio-native has already had a number of signature showcases at Virginia, including scoring four times in an upset of nationally-ranked North Carolina and throwing for 287 yards and running for 130 more in a win over Boston College. Armstrong's latest effort, however, saw him set new career highs in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns in helping the Cavaliers to 558 total yards and 31 total first downs in an early statement game for 2-0 Virginia. 

Only six quarterbacks in the ACC this millennium have thrown for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with at least 30 yards rushing in a single game: Tajh Boyd, Lamar Jackson, D'Eriq King, Zack Mahoney, Marquise Williams and, now, Armstrong.

Before doing things few are doing in college football, Armstrong was doing it all at Virginia. He played sparingly as a freshman, throwing a touchdown pass against Georgia Tech, rushing for 50 yards versus Louisville and tossing a lateral to Bryce Perkins a Belk Bowl triumph over South Carolina. As a sophomore, Armstrong completed a touchdown pass against Liberty, converted a fake field goal at North Carolina and even appeared on punt coverage versus Pittsburgh.

Last season, Armstrong passed for 2,117 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 552 yards and five more scores. He tied for the FBS lead with six games with at least 200 yards passing and 45 yards rushing, also tying for first in the FBS with four outings with at least 200 yards passing, 45 yards rushing, one passing touchdown and one rushing score; Virginia, by the way, went 4-0 in those contests. Armstrong's play was a big reason why the Cavaliers won four of five to finish 2020.  

Two games into this fall, Armstrong is offering much more of the same. He has 744 yards passing, seven touchdown throws, two more rushing scores and, importantly, two wins. Notably, Armstrong's latest showing is his most productive one to date. His play is setting the tone for a talented team. Armstrong and Virginia have considerable momentum moving forward. Keep an eye on the undefeated Cavaliers as they now prepare for preseason ACC Coastal Division favorite North Carolina.

A rare two-time captain at Virginia, Armstrong has been one of the best quarterbacks of this young college football season.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports