It’s August and it’s time for UVa Football.
And if you bleed orange & blue, you are lapping up every bit of information you can from over a dozen sites to see how the Wahoo are going to fair this year. So we are going to break up the monotony by presenting the biggest story lines from training camp...in meme form. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.
Well you would have thought after the last seasons quarterback competition, we would be safe from that this year. No way. In comes Phillip Sims from Chesapeake via University of Alabama, and already it looks like another head-to-head grudge match. It will be Rocco’s experience in Bill Lazor’s system vs. Sims’ raw talent and ability. Whoever gets the nod, will have to shine early on in a very rough stretch of games or the Wahoo faithful will be clamoring for the other.
Last year’s rotation of Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, and Clifton Richardson worked out well. It allowed Mr. Everything Superman to stay fresh all game, while getting the young ones time on the field. This year though it might be hard to keep fellow 2nd year Khalek Shepherd off the field, which begs the question ‘how do you get all of these backs playing time?’ It’s a great problem to have.
Could have gone with “Y U NO CATCH THE BALL?” and would have worked here too. If you look at all the big passing plays, a vast, vast majority of them started off in the short to intermediate range and blew up big. Rarely (if ever) did the receivers create that down field separation. In addition, there were too many times where the WRs just dropped the ball. If the Hoos can find a dependable down field threat it will really open doors for Virginia this year.
Sure, everyone knows seniors Colter Phillips and Paul Freedman, but the two playmakers this year might be converted defensive end Jeremiah Mathis and converted quarterback Jake McGee. They have shown great hands and Mathis has shown ability to catch the ball in the end zone when the Hoos are in the red. This position has been underutilized the past 3 seasons, but should rebound nicely this year
While the ends are more than solid with Oday and Morgan, the interior will go through a lot of adjustments this year, especially early on. Combine that with running backs who like to run outside and you shouldn’t see a lot of the power game on 4th and 1.
There will be a lot of youth along the line, but if the spring ball is any indication, this will be a very deep and quick line. Virginia was able to tackle RBs in the backfield, but didn’t quite finish off those sack opportunities last season. The key to this line will be pressure up the middle, and if they can pull it off, it should lead to a bunch of 3 and outs.
Steve Greer has over 100 tackles last year. He also had plenty of time to do it. There was not a lot of substitutions last year in the 3 man linebacker core, and one thing that will need to be established early on is a capable 2nd team that can come in and eat up some minutes.
We know Tra will be one corner, and then it is a bunch of ‘sure’ and ‘okay’. With no seniors and one junior in the secondary, Virginia will need a bunch of players to grow up quickly or it will be another year of big plays.
I don’t like to ‘hate’ on anyone, but last year’s special teams were atrocious. So along with a new kicker and punter, Moore has been trying out a slew of newcomers for the return game. Good news is I don’t think it will get any worse. Hopefully
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