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Sept. 25, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -Marc Verica threw three first-half touchdown passes and Virginia had no trouble against Virginia Military Institute, winning 48-7 on Saturday.
The Cavaliers (2-1) led 31-7 at halftime in the 82nd meeting, but first since 1991.
VMI (1-2), coming off a 45-0 loss to William & Mary, brought virtually its entire Corps of Cadets in 21 buses, but the 1,300 or so white-clad cadets saw little they could cheer.
VMI pulled even at 7 late in the first quarter, but Raynard Horne returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown for Virginia. VMI gained 20 yards in the second quarter.
Virginia's 31 points in the first half was its highest total since it scored 31 in the first half of a 48-0 victory at Miami in the final game at the Orange Bowl in 2007.
The victory will not count toward the Cavaliers' requirement for bowl eligibility since they already beat a Football Championship Subdivision team, Richmond, in their opener.
Verica completed 16 of 23 passes for 224 yards. He hit Dontrelle Inman for his first career touchdown catches, 25 and 8 yards, and hit Kris Burd from 27 yards for another score.
Burd caught eight passes for 119 yards before he and most of the starters came out in the third quarter, with Ross Metheny getting his first snaps as a college quarterback.
Metheny hit Jared Green with a 15-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter, and his co-backup, Michael Rocco, hit Colter Phillips with a 17-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
The Keydets, whose last victory against a Football Bowl Subdivision school came in 1981, the year of their last winning season, made it interesting for most of the first quarter.
Chase Minnifield muffed a punt for Virginia, setting VMI up at the Cavaliers' 19, but their drive stalled at the 21 and Jeff Sexton was wide right on a 30-yard field goal try.
After Virginia went three-and-out, the Keydets pulled even.
Cameron Jones hit T.J. Talley for a one-handed, 36-yard reception down the Keydets sideline, then found Chaz Jones after a long scramble for 25 yards to the 2. Three plays later, he was flushed again, but flicked the ball to tight end Robbie White in the end zone.
But Horne took the kickoff right up the center of the field and was never touched.
Minnifield atoned for his early mistake with interceptions to end the next two VMI drives, and Verica drove the Cavaliers 69 and then 25 yards for touchdowns off the picks.