%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> spt_uvanotes0907.ARTGroh throws caution into a win Inside The gameBy DAVE FAIRBANK| 247-4637CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginia coach Al Groh is either supremely confident in both his offense and defense, or he has thrown caution to the wind in his later years.
Four times Groh went for it on fourth down against Richmond, including one head-scratcher early in the third quarter. Leading 3-0, the Cavs went for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 29.
Quarterback Peter Lalich tried a sneak, but was stuffed on a play that the officials didn't even bother to measure. UR couldn't capitalize on the field position.
Late in the first half, the Cavaliers also went for it on fourth-and-2 at the Richmond 15. Lalich was intercepted on a quick route into the left flat.
Asked if going for it on fourth down was part of the game plan this week, Groh said, "It was part of the game plan last week. We just couldn't get fourth downs close enough."
Virginia was 2-for-12 on third downs and didn't attempt a fourth-down conversion against Southern Cal.
OUT OF GAS Richmond linebacker Jordan Shoop jumped that quick route on fourth down and intercepted Lalich at the 14, with nothing but open space in front of him.
He thought he was going to score, but was caught by U.Va. wide receiver Cary Koch, among others, at the Virginia 24.
"At first, I thought I was good," he said. "I took off. Then, after about 20 yards, something happened. Something went on with my leg and that was about it. I started slowing down. I peeked back and saw someone coming on me."
Going RETRO Virginia held Retro Day at Scott Stadium, to honor the George Welsh era from 1984-93, when the Cavaliers won 72 games and a share of the 1989 ACC championship.
CLOSE ONE The last time the two teams played, the Cavs held on to beat Richmond 17-16 in 2001 in Groh's first home game.
The Spiders overcame a 17-0 deficit and had a chance to tie following a fourth-quarter touchdown with 8:50 remaining, but Doug Kirchner's extra-point attempt was wide left.
UR had one more chance to take the lead, but wide receiver Ryan Tolhurst fumbled at the Virginia 20. The Cavs' Earl Sims recovered with 4:20 left, and he also intercepted a long pass in the final minutes.
Quick kicks Virginia converted more third downs in the first quarter (three) than in the entire Southern Cal game (two). ... Vic Hall's 60-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Cavs' final score, was UVa's longest since Antwan Harris' 95-yard return against North Carolina in 1996. ... The Cavs' two blocks of field-goal attempts, by Matt Conrath and Nick Jenkins, marked the first time they blocked two kicks since the UNC game in 2000.