CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (AP) - Kyle Lauletta threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns and Richmond manhandled Virginia 37-20 on Saturday in Bronco Mendenhall's debut as the Cavaliers' coach.
The Spiders, of the Football Championship Subdivision, outgained Virginia 524-302 in winning for just the third time in 33 meetings. The victory was the fourth in Richmond's last nine meetings with a FBS-level school, but its first victory against the Cavaliers since 1946.
Lauletta teamed up with Tyler Wilkins for scoring throws of 11 and 5 yards, and hit Brian Brown for 11 yards.
Kurt Benkert threw for three touchdowns in his first start at Virginia, but two came in the final quarter with Richmond well ahead. He also threw an interception deep in Spiders territory. It was one a four turnovers for the Cavaliers, who managed just 38 yards rushing.
RICHMOND: The Spiders, 33-7 losers to North Dakota State in the FCS semifinals last year, have to be considered favorites to get back. The offensive line had little trouble handling Virginia up front and Lauletta makes good decisions, can make all the throws and extend plays with his feet. Staying healthy will be critical.
VIRGINIA: The defense struggled mightily in its first game in Mendenhall's 3-4 defense. There were numerous missed assignments and missed tackles galore. The Spiders moved the ball at will at times, and Lauletta was hardly ever bothered by pressure. What little he faced, he usually sidestepped it pretty easily.
RICHMOND: The Spiders open their home schedule against Norfolk State.
VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers travel across the country to face No. 24 Oregon, finishing a home-and-home series that started with the Ducks winning 59-10 at Virginia in 2013.
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