Monday, August 2, 2010
ACC 2010-Virginia Cavaliers
2009 Record: 3-9 (2-6)
Head Coach: Mike London (1st season...24-5 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bill Lazor (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Reid (1st season)
2009 Bowl Game: Not a chance
Offense: London and Lazor have devised a double tight end set to build a power running game in their first season at UVA. This entire system will be built from scratch, as everything involved with Al Groh's former regime will be thrown out. Marc Verica is the default starter at QB, but he threw the ball horribly when he played in 2008, with an 8-16 TD/INT ratio. Dominique Wallace, Perry Jones, and Torrey Mack will be a RB by committee group, and experience is low all around. 3 starters return on the O-line, while the TEs will have one returning starter (Joe Torchia) and a brand new one to compliment the new set (Colter Phillips).
Defense: Moving up seemed to be the story at spring practice this year. Safeties moved to LB, and LBs moved to DE to try and maximize on speed that is on the roster. Al Groh's 3-4 was scrapped and the 4-3 was installed. Expect a ton of LB blitzing in the new scheme, and I would not be surprised if the Cavs blitzed on just about every down. There will be a huge void of experience in the LB corps, where Steve Greer is the lone returning starter. CB Ras-I Dowling is the leader of this defense, and he is a pure star on a bad football team. Dowling is a pre-season All American.
Special Teams: Robert Randolph returns, which is very good news, as he nailed 17 of 19 kicks a year ago. Jimmy Howell will return to punt as well.
Wins: 9/4 Richmond, 9/25 VMI, 10/23 Eastern Michigan
Toss Up Games: 11/6 @ Duke, 11/13 Maryland
Losses: 9/11 @ USC, 10/2 Florida State, 10/9 @ Georgia Tech, 10/16 North Carolina, 10/30 Miami, 11/20 @ Boston College, 11/27 @ Virginia Tech
A repeat of 3 wins looks certain. You have to believe that Mike London will not lose to Richmond, as this is his former squad, but it is possible. The Cavs opened with a loss to William & Mary last season, and it wasn't close. VMI and Eastern Michigan should be confidence builders, while USC and the final two games on the road against BC and V-Tech should be confidence crushers.
Outlook: This will be rebuilding 101. Mike London is familiar with UVA, as he is a former assistant. His energy and enthusiasm for this program is through the roof, and he is determined to bring in the fan base. There won't be much to cheer about this season, but London was a whiz at Richmond, so it will be no shock to see success in the next couple of seasons for the Wahoos.