MONDAY HUDDLE: Carson Wentz justifies faith in him during Washington’s season-opening win

Washington Commanders safety Darrick Forrest (22) celebrates after an interception during an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 in Landover. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.) (Daniel Kucin Jr., Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

Wentz shines in debut for Commanders

Fans of the Washington Commanders who were nervous about the trade to bring quarterback Carson Wentz on board are breathing easier after Sunday’s season opener.

Wentz did throw two interceptions, but it was overshadowed by him throwing four touchdown passes and going 27-of-41 passing for a 101.0 quarterback rating.

It was the first four-touchdown game for Wentz since he was with Philadelphia in 2017, and for one game, justified the minor gamble Washington made when it sent a couple of third-round draft picks to Indianapolis and took on a $28.3 million salary cap hit in exchange for Wentz.

If Washington can return to its 2020 form on defense when it was a top-5 unit in the league, and Wentz can turn in similar performances, the Commanders can contend in the NFC East.

What happened to Virginia’s offense?

Losing on the road wasn’t necessarily unexpected for Virginia when it fell at Illinois on Saturday. But what was unexpected was the startling futility on offense.

Going up against an Illinois team that’s not exactly a defensive stalwart, the normally high-powered Cavaliers were held to just three points in a 24-3 defeat.

Quarterback Brennan Armstrong was pressured all game (Illinois had five sacks) and had one of his worst career games, going 13-of-32 for 180 yards, two interceptions and no touchdown passes.

It was the first time in 18 games Armstrong hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass.

The Cavaliers obviously hope it was just an aberration and they can get back on track on Saturday at home against Old Dominion.

Hokies rebound to get first win for Pry

It obviously was a crushing blow for Virginia Tech to lose its season-opening game to in-state foe Old Dominion, but the Hokies showed some resolve in its ACC opener.

Putting together an impressive defensive performance, Virginia Tech earned the first win for first-year head coach Brent Pry in a 27-10 win over Boston College.

Virginia Tech held Boston College to just four yards rushing and 155 yards overall.

It was no small thing to get the first conference win in the bank already, especially given the next two games for the Hokies are against nonconference foes Wofford and West Virginia.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.