Just about no one gave Virginia football a chance when they headed into the Coliseum to take on 16th-ranked Southern California.
After all, the Cavaliers suffered a humbling 52-7 loss the last time these two teams clashed in Charlottesville.
Why would things be any different this time around? Particularly considering that Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley had tied a school record with five passing touchdowns in the season opener against Hawaii.
The Trojans had won 18 straight home openers and they did claim No. 19 Saturday night. However, no one would have predicted exactly how it would happen.
"Moral victories" are something Cavalier fans are tired of hearing about.
After all, they do not get you into bowl games. They do not give you an asterisk next to your record. They are quickly forgotten by everyone outside of your fan base.
Still, after a 17-14 loss, there are plenty of positives to take away from this performance for the Cavaliers. At the same time, some problems not only remained but may have gotten worse.
Here are 10 lessons we learned from Week 2's game.
So remember what usually happens when Virginia goes on the road?
Under Al Groh, the Cavaliers were lucky to win more than one road game per season and even if the Cavaliers could not win last Saturday, it was not from lack of confidence.
When past teams look intimidated under the spotlight, coach London wisely took the players into the awe-inspiring Los Angeles Coliseum the night before game day.
His "Hoosiers"-like speech helped the Cavaliers overcome jitters and really play with a chip on their shoulders.
Indeed, Virginia was the more physical team this weekend. They pushed around the So Cal pretty boys and showed an amazing amount of tenacity.
When Virginia missed its fourth-down opportunity and the Trojans marched down to score, many expected the Cavalier upset bid to end.
Instead, quarterback Marc Verica and company marched down the field with a statement drive to tie the game and show they were not going anywhere.
When USC scored in the final seconds before halftime to take the lead, Virginia once again appeared to be out of luck and time.
Instead, they held the Trojans to three points in the second half and continued to impress.
These guys believe they are a completely different team than last year, you could hear it in their post-game comments.
The Cavaliers are certainly not a stacked roster, but they are tired of losing and under-performing.
They have adapted the passion of their coach and really turned some heads in Game 2.
If they can continue to believe in themselves, it will not take long to gain some converts.
There's a new sheriff in town and he's already taking names.
Coach Mike London can't help but inspire people with the passion and energy that exudes from the Virginia leader.
The referees wanted to become the stars last night, calling several penalties in the first half to make the game rather unwatchable.
However, London made sure that his team got the headlines at the end of the game.
London is willing to go to bat for his players and defend them when he feels they are wronged. He is also willing to teach when mistakes are made.
Certainly, London's predecessor was known to yell at the referees from time to time, but this was different. London was showing the kind of backbone that fans love to see.
Groh's whining made players lose focus. They began to come up with excuses and lose sight of the goal: winning. It gave them a reason to fold it in and call it a day.
London's antics fired up his team and kept them believing. If he can continue to do that, Virginia might surprise a few people as the season continues.
Remember last week, Marc Verica had impressive numbers but some bad throws that Richmond defenders fortunately could not pounce upon.
The senior signal-caller was not so lucky in Week 2.
Verica wasted a golden opportunity in the first quarter inside the 10-yard line. His inability to read the defense led to an interception in the end zone, wasting a stellar defensive effort by the Cavaliers just moments before.
Considering that the Cavaliers lost by three, that red zone trip may have cost them the game.
Even as a senior, Verica has struggled mightily to avoid interceptions.
In his first year as a starter, the quarterback had eight touchdowns but 16 interceptions.
Whether it is a bad throw, a bad read or just bad route running, Verica has shot his team in the foot several times in a rather short career.
Verica is best served to stay with short, comfortable passes. He finally has some play-makers who can turn the corner.
For evidence, look at tight end Joe Torchia, who ran over a Trojan defender for a first down in what would have normally been a two-yard gain. Verica must trust his players to get it done.
His best decision of the night came on an all-out blitz. Verica dumped the ball off to running back Perry Jones, who flew up the field into the red zone and led to the first Virginia touchdown of the game.
Once again, Verica's status as starter is secure but not necessarily assured. As long as the running game continues to grow, Verica must stay cool and make smart plays.
His confidence is still there, but Virginia fans live in fear of the moment it could disappear.
Even the casual fan of Virginia knows that coach Al Groh never built his teams around speed.
His big pro-style sets were about strength; that's why the Cavaliers struggled against the elite athletes in big-time college football.
So to actually see the Cavaliers running as fast if not faster than the Trojans was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Say what you will about the drop-off in Southern California, but the talent is still NFL-caliber and the confidence is still there.
Yet, running back Perry Jones lit up the Trojan defense whenever he could find space.
His 77 yards on 14 carries was a nice lift for a team that had only 32 rushing yards as a team in 2008 against USC.
Jones has provided a great spark for a running game that had disappeared the past few seasons.
Combined with pure strength of Keith Payne, Virginia might have an offense that can keep them in most ACC games this season.
Fortunately for Cavalier fans, Jones is more than just speedy. More than a few times, the running back was able to make a cut to add on a few extra yards.
He bailed out an offensive line by making something out of nothing.
Considering just how bad the running corps has been lately in making moves in the backfield, Jones has a pleasant surprise.
Can Jones maintain this high level of play?
I said it last week, but the problems did not get better for special teams and secondary coordinator Anthony Poindexter.
In fact, the units looked even worse.
The field goal unit missed another one this Saturday, making them 0-for-3 on the year. That's already more misses in two games than the Cavaliers had all of last season.
The returns were mediocre and the Cavaliers' best special teams play was negated by a penalty.
What's more concerning though is the health and ability of the Virginia secondary.
Now, when you can hold a Trojan quarterback to 17 points, you must be doing something right.
However, Matt Barkley's troubles were not coming from the secondary but a terrific effort by the Virginia defensive front seven. Their ability to bring pressure helped keep the Trojans off the scoreboard.
When Barkley had time, Chase Minnifield and Corey Mosley were exposed a bit. Both gave up some long passes and had a few communication issues.
Mosley might be a very energetic player, but he makes some mistakes that a player of his caliber simply cannot make.
Trey Womack had the biggest mistake, knocking Barkley when he was already out of bounds. That set up the go-ahead touchdown and left a bitter taste in the mouths of Cavalier fans.
With Rodney McLeod and Ras-I Dowling watching on the sidelines, both Minnifield and Mosley are being asked to step up. The results have been mixed.
Virginia's secondary were out of position at key moments and could be in big trouble against some of the better passing teams in the ACC.
As much as we all love Virginia's Anthony Poindexter the player, Poindexter the coach cannot afford to be the weak link on a scrappy team looking for redemption.
He simply has too much talent not to succeed.
The biggest play of the game came on a fourth down fake punt by the Cavaliers.
Virginia punter Jimmy Howell threw the ball effectively and the Cavaliers marched deep into USC territory and appeared to have stolen the momentum for the Coliseum.
However, the next five minutes helped kill all of that.
The referees huddled for a long time and eventually concurred that the play was illegal and Virginia's trick play was not allowed.
The problem? The three linemen protecting Howell cut block the rushing Trojan rushers.
Coach Mike London was absolutely livid at the play, which he believed was perfectly legal.
The referees later agreed, saying that had blown the call. Unfortunately, that admission was too little, too late.
London simply called it "a crying shame."
Why the confusion?
Cut blocking is legal in college football, unless you are in a punting formation.
Now Virginia actually did not punt, but that's not what the rule says.
However, it also says that cut blocking is not allowed on the line of scrimmage. This took place five yards behind and therefore was legal.
The confusion cost the Cavaliers a golden opportunity, but there's no use crying about the referees. Virginia had their chances, they simply could not take advantage.
Some things never change.
Lane "The Weasel" Kiffin could only sulk after the game, knowing that his opportunity to win the fans over at the Coliseum went by the wayside.
Kiffin was out-coached, even if it took him a few hours to finally admit it.
However, outside of that, you would not hear any praise for the Cavaliers from the Trojan head coach.
To Kiffin, this was a horrible, inexcusable, and embarrassing performance.
In truth, it might be the crossroads of two programs heading in different directions.
One team has complete faith in their coach and a toughness to overcome adversity with a clear vision of the future.
The other team has a coach who jumps ship at the sight of a bigger paycheck and will have to deal with a tough conference and two years of sanctions. His vision of the future rarely goes beyond next week.
Kiffin is a tool, and even USC fans cannot feel to proud of their coach after this week's performance.
Virginia will try to ease the blow by making a win against the Cavaliers a quality victory in the near future.
Despite the good game, Virginia still lost.
If the Cavaliers keep relishing moral victories, they are never going to rebuild this program.
In the past few years, Virginia was able to play well in a few games, but losses wear on you. Particularly when you are not familiar with success.
It is hard to keep players believing when you lose, even if the margin is tight.
Coach London has done a good job getting his players to buy in, but to keep them in he has to successfully navigate the next few weeks. They have to win.
Football teaches you to not take anything for granted. Even if the Cavaliers should win handily against VMI, they cannot afford to overlook them and destroy all the good will in Charlottesville.
Virginia could learn from their rivals who suffered a rather humiliating loss last week. In truth, they need only look at their embarrassing loss last season to William & Mary.
The Cavaliers cannot sit around and play the "what if" game. They need to win the games that they should and try to steal a few.
If they can do that, Virginia will rather shockingly play in a bowl game for the first time since the 2007 season.
If not, coach London's job becomes that much more difficult.
Need I say more?
What was this article about again? I got distracted.
You know when we do things even though they are bad for us?
Virginia football has a quarterback-sneak addiction.
We love to run the quarterback, no matter how slow or ineffective it might be.
Last year, quarterback Jameel Sewell would run the ball just about every third down. It did not matter if it was two yards away or 20.
In fact, Sewell ran the ball 23 times once in a game last season against Southern Mississippi.
So when the Cavaliers rolled the dice in Trojan territory on fourth down, did they give the ball to punishing running back Keith Payne?
Of course not! They gave it to the slowest player on offense and brought back an oldie and not a goodie.
Marc Verica did not convert and the momentum was lost.
Please, please, please Virginia football brass, this has got to stop. Running the ball is important, but it is more important that the right people are rushing.
Verica needs to stick to doing what he does best...we just need to keep figuring out what that is.