2017 ACC Football: Coastal Division Power Rankings week 9

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Cayson Collins
CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Cayson Collins /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 28: Kurt Benkert /

Ring of Fire

‘I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire.’

I don’t normally quote lyrics from the songs I use but is there a better way to describe the fall of Virginia the past two weeks. The Cavaliers looked like a shoe-in to get to the six wins needed to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2011.

However, two losses later against the two easiest wins left on their schedule, and that bowl eligibility has become less of a certainty. Like Duke, the Cavaliers face a tough end of season slate meeting four teams that are a combined 23-8.

Two of those games are on the road and one of those home games is against a Virginia Tech team the Cavaliers have lost 13 straight too. There are no gimmes on this schedule, though unlike Duke, Virginia has that fifth win which could sneak them into a bowl game.

Also like Duke, the Cavaliers have seen a decline from their experienced quarterback. In the past two games, Kurt Benkert is averaging 169 passing yards with a 51.9 completion percentage. He has thrown two interceptions as his team has been outscored 72-24.

This has easily been Benkert’s worst two-game stretch of the season.

Again this was against two teams that were not very good. Boston College had one of the worst offense in the country before going for 41 points and racking up 512 yards against the Cavaliers in Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, Pitt has the second worst defense in the ACC. They did hold the Cavaliers to 14 points and 314 total yards.

Virginia needs to get out of the ring of losing they are in. Their next opponent is a Georgia Tech squad that leads the ACC in rushing yards per game.