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Sept. 4, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -Keith Payne ran for four touchdowns and Virginia ended a four-year losing streak in season openers with a 34-13 victory against Richmond on Saturday night.
Payne carried 16 times for 114 yards. He had consecutive carries of 15, 13 and 15 yards on the third scoring drive, each time carrying several defenders along.
Richmond, which beat Duke to start the season twice in the past five seasons, lost in the coaching debut of Latrell Scott, a former Virginia wide receivers coach. The Spiders pulled to 14-13 on Wil Kamin's second field goal in the third quarter, but Virginia answered with a nine-play, 74-yard drive. Payne gained 50 yards on five carries, including a 2-yard scoring run.
His other scoring runs covered 1, 2 and 8 yards.
The game also marked the return to the Virginia lineup of quarterback Marc Verica, who started nine games in 2008 but played sparingly last season.
Verica completed 24 of 35 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. He avoided the costly interceptions that had plagued him earlier in his career, and found Kris Burd for 51 yards on the fourth-quarter drive that ended with Virginia holding a comfortable 28-13 lead.
Burd had seven catches for 122 yards, including a 2-yard TD. Dontrelle Inman added seven catches for 88 yards, and Jones added 73 yards rushing on just nine carries.
From the opening play from scrimmage, the run-first offense that coordinator Bill Lazor installed was effective. Perry Jones burst through the line for 38 yards on the first play, a longer run than the Cavaliers had all last season. Verica's 25-yard completion to Burd two plays later moved it to the Spiders' 13, and two runs by Payne gave Virginia a 7-0 lead.
The Spiders tied it when Kendall Gaskins ran into, then away from, a wall of defenders, going 70 yards for a touchdown. The Spiders managed just 100 more yards in the half, but pulled within 14-10 at the break on Kamin's 36-yard field goal 1:23 before the intermission.
Kamin connected from 41 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter on a drive kept alive by Southern Cal transfer quarterback Aaron Corp. Rolling right on 3rd-and-12, he found Gaskins running free for 32 yards to the Cavaliers 17 before Virginia's defense tightened.
Corp was 18 for 32 for 183 yards with one interception.