CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Brennan Armstrong is not one to gloss over a situation. That’s among those things that his old coach Bronco Mendenhall is fond of about his player. Mendenhall used to be a swathe of the team during Virginia training sessions, close enough to listen to every word that came out of his quarterback’s lips, and when the team was struggling with the monologues, they would often drift into profane.
“He’d curse like a sailor,” Mendenhall stated. “But it was authentic.”
It’s not surprising that, a full month into his debut season without Mendenhall managing the team, Armstrong isn’t trying to present the early struggles of Virginia’s offensive team in any other way than they are a major issue. The situation is bleak.
“I’m pretty frustrated right now,” Armstrong declared after the team’s victory against Old Dominion, in which Armstrong led the team with a furious final drive that set up an important field goal before time ran out. “I’m used to playing an offensive that is high-powered and I’m not able to feel it, and don’t feel it, it wasn’t necessary to play like this. Armstrong could’ve chosen another route, possibly a more straightforward one. The current era of names, images and freedom for transfer portals and money as well as Armstrong was awash with potential suitors during the offseason. However, he decided to stay with the team and put his cards to the middle with a brand new coaching team that was led by a first-time director Tony Elliott, and a new system and a new strategy, which all resulted in a real chance that his final season — one that will decide whether or not to the difference in his NFL prospects could turn into a rebuilding period with the Cavaliers.
When Armstrong made his decision to make the choice, he was widely praised as a model of loyalty in a time when loyalty is a scarce thing. It only took two games for Virginia fans to question whether loyalty was overrated.
The following year, Armstrong transformed into one of most productive quarterbacks in the nation and threw for more than 4500 yards and scoring 41 touchdowns — including 31 of them through the airin just 11 games, the prospects in Charlottesville appear to be bleak.
In the course of three games last season, Virginia’s offensive recorded 124 point.
Through three games this season this season, the Hoos have recorded just 53 points, and Armstrong only has two passing touchdowns which both came in the opening game in the match against FCS Richmond.
In the next few days, Armstrong will take on the coach who turned Armstrong into a star. The Cavaliers take on the 3-0 Syracuse in the afternoon on Friday (7 p.m. ET ESPN/ESPN app) to face an explosive offense coached by the former Virginia Coordinator Robert Anae and QB coach Jason Beck.
In the wake of the reunion and the possibility of a reunion, it could be the perfect occasion to allow Armstrong to step back and think about his decisionand wonder what could have been. However, the only thing Armstrong won’t talk about regardless of how hard asked prior to his meeting together with Anae & Co., is that he isn’t happy with any decision he has made.
“Yeah, I did stick it out through a coaching change and the NIL money you could possibly put in my pocket at a different school — all that good stuff,” Armstrong declared. “You likely don’t see very many QBs who stick out their hands and I’m very happy with the way I played. “VIRGINIA finished its regular season in 2021 with four consecutive losses, with a particularly painful fourth-quarter blunder against a rival Virginia Tech. Then, Armstrong figured he was prepared to leave and set his sights to an NFL draft.
Then Mendenhall announced that he was going to step off.
The bowl game between Virginia and Georgia was cancelled.
Then, the NFL evaluations were released, taking aim at Armstrong for a myriad of issues which included his Air Raid system that he’d developed but which didn’t appear to carry over to an even higher level.
He was regarded as a late-round pick with upside.
“He doesn’t have wow-you-over arm strength, but he’s an overachiever — a gutty, gritty gamer,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said. “On Day 3, somebody would grab him.”
There were other offers, as well, and included promises of huge name, image and similarity deals. All over the country, players were keen to take advantage of their newly-found freedom to make money and, in some cases, locate an appropriate venue that would permit them to display their skills in a larger setting.
Draft evaluations were of no importance to Armstrong who resisted criticisms of his strength or athleticism. Armstrong is an Ohio person He also said that it was a pleasure to carry a chip around his neck. He’d showcased what he can perform on the fieldbeing insecure at the pocket, an adept runner and then he’d put together an video of highlights from NFL throws.
“The more you watch him, the more you like him,” Kiper told me.
And Armstrong was not too worried about the NIL money, either. There were friends on the team, and also a team of receivers that were as gifted and efficient as anyone else in the nation. What made him leave this team?
Let’s get right to it however, and Armstrong’s choice was not about anything aside from the following: “I wanted to do what I wanted to do,” Armstrong declared.
“That’s the way I am. Many people think that it’s difficult, but it’s really not. Each season can be a challenge. If I were draft, or not, and on the streetsit’s not straightforward. It technically was about proving various things, but in reality it was justthis was what I needed to accomplish, and so I went for it. It was impulsive, perhaps. “ARMSTRONG saw value developing his skills through playing in a more professional-styled system as well as taking snaps with center, and adjusting his protections, and using more of his run game. The year before the offense of Virginia didn’t play through him. It ran solely because of Armstrong. Armstrong was absent for a full game and still accounted for the greatest percent of his team’s yards that of the Power 5 player. It was, however, only sufficient to win six games, therefore it was simple for Elliott to convince Armstrong on the theory that a less impressive statistics could lead to more wins by year’s close.
“It’s all about finding ways to win, and that’s the only stat that matters,” Elliott stated.
In Week 2 Virginia fell short. It was beaten badly, losing 24-3, to Illinois during one of the most boring performance of the offensive sideline in Armstrong’s entire five-year stint as a member of the Cavaliers.
“I don’t think there was a single play when all 11 guys were doing what they were supposed to,” Armstrong declared.
The offensive performance showed some improvements against Old Dominion, but it was unable to get going on the defensive end, and wasted scoring opportunities. Until Armstrong’s heroics towards the end the Hoos were facing another loss that was disappointing.
The the Virginia SB Nation site polled fans this week about who was responsible for the slow start to the offense only 2percent of those polled pointed blame on Armstrong. About half blamed the new coaching team.
Armstrong believes that this is nonsense. It’s difficult to evaluate the new strategy Armstrong said, given that players aren’t executing it correctly. He blames himself for this. He’s always been harsh to himself Mendenhall declared, that’s why he insists to keep his noise from the boards and fans at an the bare minimum.
“I don’t think about it,” Armstrong stated. “That’s all outside stuff you can’t focus on or it breaks down your entire team. It’s a dangerous world out there with that stuff. It’s easy to get lost.”
Armstrong doesn’t seem lost. Armstrong is exactly where he would like to be It’s his responsibility to be a good player so that the majority of the world comes to agree with his views.
“It’s not like it’s the end of the frickin’ world that we lost and put up three points [against Illinois],” the coach declared. “Let’s just keep trying to get better.”
ARMSTRONG was awarded the QB position when he was freshmen in high school. He beat an older player for the job however, it wasn’t an overnight success. The Shelby (Ohio) squad started the season with a 0-5 record and Armstrong struggled through the typical difficulties of a freshman. In late October Shelby played Columbian (Tiffin) Tiffin, and Armstrong performed well. The issue was that his defense was not able to assistance. In the final six minutes of the game Shelby was down 75-54.
This is when Armstrong was appointed.
Shelby recorded three points in the last 5:48 minutes to send the game into overtime. Armstrong completed five TD passes and had the offense with 520 yards.
“That’s Brennan though,” his mother, Heather, said. “There’s a minute left, it’s not over. He’s going to fight to the end. That’s just him.”
Yet, Shelby still lost the game. Columbian was able to score two after scoring in overtime , and scored a conversion. Final score was 85-82. The game was not officially the highest scoring match ever played in Ohio the history of high schools in Ohio.
Mendenhall has the same story as Armstrong and the moment when he realized that his quarterback was exceptional.
It’s the year 2018, and Armstrong was an actual freshman. The starting quarterback Bryce Perkins went down with an injury in the first quarter in the game against Georgia Tech, with the Hoos losing 13-7. Enter Armstrong who drove the offense for 65 yards over six plays before striking Joe Reed for a long touchdown, allowing the Hoos to lead.
“I would swear his pulse was about 48,” Mendenhall remembered. “It was just so matter of fact, and after that score, the look he gave me was like, ‘Well, what else did you expect?'”
Perkins returned for the next drive, but Perkins returned to action on the next drive, but Yellow Jackets won the game 30-27 in overtime.
Take a look back at Armstrong’s career and the same story repeats. Armstrong is good, but his victories aren’t easy.
Armstrong has the stats. The school even had a record in passing yards in the last season. However, he didn’t get the victories. It ate away at him.
This is the reason the reason he returned. He can certainly improve his game, prove that he is able to run a pro style offense, make some NIL dollars — “all those good things,” as he put it. What he really wanted above all else was to winwinning so much that his mark at Virginia was immortalized. He did not want to be considered the poster boy for loyalty in an age of stalemate in the game of college football. He would like not to become the man who was the one who led Virginia to a record-setting season to remember.
There’s plenty of time to complete it, he said. There’s a lot ahead of him — and that’s the reason you can’t afford to think back.
“I still want to win 10 games,” Armstrong declared. “There are nine left, and I’ve got to win eight of them. It’s going to be a hell of a battle. I know that for a fact. But that’s something I wanted to do. And if it doesn’t happen, I’ll know I gave this university everything I had, whatever that looks like.” I am irritated.”