North Carolina State quarterback Brennan Armstrong will be in a special place in the team’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener Friday night.
He will be back in Charlottesville, Va., where he played the last five seasons for Virginia.
Armstrong has shown few signs of peeking ahead. But now it’s game week for his return.
“I haven’t looked at what other people are doing,” Armstrong said. “We’ll start to figure out what they do. I’m taking it game by game. We’ll figure out what this next defense likes to do and be able to adapt.”
Armstrong started 30 games for Virginia the past three seasons.
This year, he still appears to be in adjustment mode with NC State (2-1), though he was 27 for 32 with a touchdown in Saturday’s 45-7 home trouncing of Virginia Military Institute.
“This was a great game for us to bounce back,” Armstrong said.
Virginia (0-3) needs something good to happen, though there were stretches of positives the past two weeks. But the Cavaliers couldn’t hold leads against James Madison or Maryland.
“We got to go make the plays,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said. “We can’t wait for somebody else to make the play. We can’t hope that the team across the field doesn’t make the play. We have to go make the play.”
It will be Virginia’s second consecutive Friday night game after a 42-14 loss at Maryland.
The Cavaliers seem less clear at quarterback since Armstrong’s departure. Tony Muskett began the season as the starter, but an injury resulted in Anthony Colandrea taking that role.
Muskett practiced last week, but he was given at least another week for his non-throwing shoulder to heal.
“I have full confidence in the offense,” Cavaliers safety Jonas Sanker said. “I know what they’re capable of, so there’s never any doubt.”
Virginia’s Malik Washington, a transfer from Northwestern, caught nine passes for a career-high 141 yards in the Maryland game.
NC State and Virginia haven’t met since the 2020 readjusted schedule, with the Wolfpack winning 38-21 at Charlottesville. Armstrong played in a starting, but limited role that day, throwing two interceptions among his nine passes and absorbing three sacks.