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Saturday, August 30, 2008
USC at UVA: Halftime update

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- I'm sure most of you are watching this game on ABC and yes, it's as bad as it looks in person.

So much for USC having to adjust to this 3-4 defense. Quarterback Mark Sanchez has had way too much time to make his throws and isn't in too much danger of getting sacked today. A fourth-down attempt early shows they're confident against the Cavs. USC, though, is bringing some heat.

The Trojans' defense is much faster and for the most part stifling Virginia, which looks like it has three new starters on its offensive line (it does). They've got no ground game going, which obviously makes it even tougher to get the passing game going.

Considering he's the only one with any game experience, it's no surprise that Peter Lalich is the starting quarterback for Virginia, and he has gotten better under pressure as the game has progressed. Still, Virginia's lone points so far were aided by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on USC.

Since 2007, Virginia has been one of the luckiest teams I've ever seen. Even as they're losing here, they're catching breaks. Like the fumbled punt that long snapper Danny Aiken recovered. Didn't matter, though. Yannick Reyering, a soccer star in his college football debut, ended the drive with a missed 46-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right.

The fans booed Al Groh's decision to punt on fourth-and-four with 44 seconds left to go in the half. They might want to wait until Virginia improves upon its 1-of-7 third-down conversions first.