The difference was a performance that nobody -- not Cavaliers Coach Al Groh, not Simpson himself -- saw coming. Simpson gained 271 total yards on 16 rushes and 13 receptions and scored the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left in Virginia's 18-17 victory over the Terrapins, a heroic game that came without warning. Prior to Saturday, Simpson had lined up at wide receiver and running back, but seldom played. He had touched the ball on plays from scrimmage a total of six times, gaining 22 yards. Simpson hadn't carried the ball since a reception on Sept. 22 against Georgia Tech, nearly a full month. "I'm still kind of in shock today," Simpson said Tuesday. "I didn't expect that day, and it's still overwhelming right now." Whatever spark hit, it didn't really strike until the other night," Groh said. Even Simpson had trouble explaining his breakout. Part of it, surely, was moving exclusively to running back. On Monday morning, running backs coach Anthony Poindexter told him he would be playing tailback. Simpson smiled immediately, because he would be at the position he had played "ever since I was a little kid." "I just felt more comfortable Saturday night," Simpson said. "I guess the night game kind of did something to me, gave me the confidence. Then the game started off with me having good plays. It just kind of carried me through the game."

— UVA running back breakout game  

  • Save this Post to Scrapbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *