CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Kevin Parks ran 13 yards for a touchdown with 2:36 to play Saturday night and Virginia beat BYU 19-16 in a wild, rain-drenched season-opener that had a 2-hour weather delay.
Parks’ run came one play after Anthony Harris intercepted a tipped pass from Taysom Hill and then flipped the ball to teammate Henry Coley, who was running alongside and carried it to the 13.
BYU got the ball back and drove quickly from its 8 to its 41, but Hill threw four consecutive incompletions, badly overthrowing his receiver on the final one, and the Cavaliers held on.
Only minutes earlier, Hill seemed like the hero when he dove one yard for a go-ahead touchdown, capping a 92-yard, 11-play drive against a new-look Virginia defense that had been solid.
Jamaal Williams gained 144 yards on 33 carries for BYU while Hill was 13 for 40 for 175 yards with an interception.
The game was delayed and the stadium was cleared for 2 hours, nine minutes at the end of the first quarter when lightning was reported in the area. The storm eventually brought a heavy downpour, too.
By halftime, as the team returned to the locker rooms, more rain began falling, building up to another heavy downpour, and many in the announced crowd of 53,310 headed for cover again. Then, perhaps realizing they were already drenched, many returned, creating one of the liveliest crowds at Virginia in years.
All the fireworks came after the delay.
David Watford, making his first start for Virginia, threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jennings to give Virginia a 10-7 lead, and a safety gave Virginia a 12-7 lead later in the third quarter.
Anthony Harris set up the score when he blocked a punt, giving the Cavaliers possession at the Cougars’ 16. The Cougars had punted a play earlier, but had to kick again because of a penalty.
Watford finished 18 for 32 for 114 yards with an interception. Parks ran for 65 yards on 20 tries.
JD Falslev’s 17-yard punt return gave the Cougars the ball at Virginia’s 32 in the second quarter, and the Cougars needed just five plays to lead 7-0. Hill finished the drive with a 4-yard pass to Falslev.
Virginia countered with a 53-yard field goal by Ian Frye to end the half.
Check out the highlights, courtesy of The ACC Digital Network: