COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As encouraged as Virginia offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was in Saturday's 31-13 win at Maryland by the progress of his unit, he also couldn't help but overlook the problems that cropped up.
By putting up a season-high 527 yards, U.Va. (6-3 overall, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) logged its sixth game with 400-plus yards this season. It's the first time U.Va. has had more than five games of 400-plus yards in a season since 2005, when the Cavaliers did it in six games.
Still, U.Va.'s three turnovers caused Lazor some heartburn.
Quarterback Michael Rocco passed for a career-high 307 yards, but he also threw an interception in the fourth quarter. U.Va. also fumbled the ball away twice – one by Menchville High graduate running back Clifton Richardson, and one by Hampton High graduate quarterback David Watford, both of whom are freshmen.
"I think having two ACC wins in a row was really good, and we felt good about that," said Lazor, whose offense helped lead U.Va. to its first back-to-back ACC wins since 2009 (at North Carolina and at Maryland). "I think the turnovers today were really disappointing. Sometimes they cost you the game. We were fortunate (Saturday) that by the efforts of the team those turnovers did not cost us the game. They were disappointing, but they were things that we can fix."
Richardson's fumble was the only one of the turnovers that led to points by Maryland (2-7, 1-5). Richardson finished with three carries for four yards.
After he fumbled the ball away at Maryland's 17-yard line with 11:51 left in the second quarter, the Terrapins took four plays to cover 83 yards for a touchdown that put them up 10-7. U.Va. has surrendered 48 points (seven touchdowns) on 21 turnovers this season.
If anybody questions whether U.Va.-Maryland is a true rivalry, Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien may have provided the answer after the game.
"(Being bowl ineligible is) very frustrating, and it's something we never imagined," said O'Brien, who started for the first time in four games. "We definitely didn't imagine it in the preseason, but here we are.
"It was really emotional, and on top of that, losing to Virginia. That's the last team you want to lose to, so it was really bad."
In addition to O'Brien, Maryland defensive tackle Maurice Hampton also didn't take the loss well. Hampton, a 6-foot-2, 295-pound senior who graduated from Phoebus High, had two tackles.
"This is not a 2-7 team," Hampton said. "This is not a 2-10 team. This is a team that's supposed to be winning."
MOVING UP THE LIST
With nine catches for 112 yards, wide receiver Kris Burd took steps up U.Va.'s career receptions and receiving yards lists.
Burd now has 142 career receptions, passing Alvin Pearman (138) on Saturday for third on the school receptions list. Burd needs three more catches to pass Heath Miller for second. Burd is also sixth on the school receiving yards list with 1,886 yards, moving past Patrick Jeffers (1,785) on Saturday. Burd is 256 yards behind Germane Crowell for fifth.
U.Va. returns to Charlottesville next Saturday at 3 p.m. to play Duke (3-6, 1-4), which lost 49-14 on Saturday at Miami. Last season, Duke defeated U.Va. 55-48 in a shootout in Durham, N.C.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times