Virginia Cavaliers 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 118
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 52

Is there anyone left on the Virginia Cavaliers’ offense? The team lost its starting quarterback and its top three running backs who were also three of the top four receivers. There is only one skill player left that had significant production in 2009, leading receiver Kris Burd. For a team that won only 3 games last season and has a new head coach, it will be another long season.

It’s rare to see so much offensive production leave a team all at once. Not that Virginia’s offense was any good last year, ranking ahead of only two schools in the nation. It will be up to quarterback Marc Verica to take over for the departed Jameel Sewell. Verica was the starting QB for most of 2008, but saw only mop up duty in 2009. The leading returning rusher from a year ago is Torrey Mack, who gained a total of 73 yards on the ground as a freshman at 3.2 yards per carry. The only relative threat on offense is Burd. He caught 31 passes for 413 yards last season to lead the team. The offensive line is not good, having given up almost 4 sacks a game in 2009.

<a href=Virginia Cavaliers College Football Cheerleader” width=”225″ height=”300″ />

Virginia’s defense was not bad under former head coach Al Groh. This season though, new coach Mike London will be switching to a 4-3 system to improve the overall team speed. Three defensive backs will move to linebacker, Cam Johnson will move from LB to defensive end and Matt Conrath will move inside to defensive tackle. Leading tackler Steve Greer returns along with cornerback Ras-I Dowling. Dowling was named to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List and is without question the Cavaliers’ best player.

Virginia is still in a rebuilding mode and will need to work through some growing pains in 2010. It will be a good opportunity for their young players to gain experience to prepare them for future seasons when they should return to relevance.

Virginia’s odds to win the ACC: + 2000

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