2012 record: 4-8 overall, 2-6 ACC
Spring Practice opens: March 18
Spring game date: April 6
2012 in review: A 2-0 start and win over Penn State had Hoo-ville fired up, but then a 56-20 loss triggered a six-game losing skid and dropping eight of 10 games, half of which were blowout losses. Coach Mike London never settled on a quarterback, rotating the more experienced Michael Rocco, whose ceiling was quite low, and Alabama transfer Phillip Sims, who has a very high ceiling. Now that Rocco has transferred, London should regret limiting Sims snaps, as he did. Virginia's defense had some really nice moments, but overall, the Cavaliers didnt run the ball well enough, and the lack of continuity at QB was a real problem.
Biggest hole to fill: Linebacker Steve Greer was sensational last season, getting in on 103 tackles, including eight for a loss of yardage, two being sacks. Greer also broke up six passes. But its not just Greers numbers that will be hard to replace, but his tenacious approach on the field and commitment off of it. He was a great leader by example, and filling his shoes in that respect will be quite a task. Sophomore Henry Coley played a bit last season and will get a shot at the job as will sophomore Kwontie Moore. Both players are talented and should help, but neither is Greer, at least for now.
Watch out for: How the linebackers change in their approach now that Jon Tenuta is coaching the group. Tenuta has built a career out of reshaping the position wherever he goes--his stops that include North Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and most recently N.C. State--usually turning it up a few notches. He loves to blitz and infuse players with confidence. This group needs it, especially with Steve Greer gone. The talent is there to play faster and more aggressively, so by mid-season it will be interesting to see just how much has changed.