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- 2008 CFN Virginia
Preview | 2008
- 2008 Virginia
Defense | 2008
Virginia Depth Chart
2007 CFN Virginia
Preview | 2006 CFN Virginia
Head coach: Al Groh
8th year: 51-37
14th year overall: 77-77
Off. 14, Def. 16, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 22
Best Cavalier Players
1. LT Eugene Monroe, Sr.
2. LB Clint Sintim, Sr.
3. LB Jon Copper, Sr.
4. LB Antonio Appleby, Sr.
5. WR Kevin Ogletree, Jr.
6. RB Cedric Peerman, Sr.
7. RB Mikell Simpson, Jr.
8. S Byron Glaspy, Sr.
9. TE John Phillips, Sr.
10. RT Will Barker, Jr.
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 Richmond
Sept. 13 at Connecticut
Sept. 20 OPEN DATE
Sept. 27 at Duke
Oct. 4 Maryland
Oct. 11 East Carolina
Oct. 18 North Carolina
Oct. 25 at Georgia Tech
Nov. 1 Miami
Nov. 8 at Wake Forest
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 Clemson
Nov. 29 at Virginia Tech
at No Carolina
Georgia Tech W 28-23
Sept. 29 Pitt W 44-14
at Middle Tenn
Maryland W 18-17
NC State L 29-24
Miami W 48-0
Virginia Tech L 33-21
Jan. 1 Texas Tech L 31-28
The Cavaliers and
their fans enjoyed a special run last year, squeezing into the Top 25
and playing on New Year’s Day, but the good times came to a screeching
halt with the collapse against Texas Tech in the 31-28 Gator Bowl loss,
and the hits are going to keep on coming.
While just about everything went right for head coach Al Groh, it’s not
as if Virginia was destroying opponents en route to an unexpected 9-4
mark. So, when the program that won
five games by
two points or fewer gets ravaged by graduation and a spate of off-field
problems, logic dictates that those close games will begin going the
other way. Basically, you don’t get the same big breaks twice, and
inexperienced teams don’t tend to win the close ones.
The conventional wisdom is that the Cavs overachieved last year
with a few great players, a solid kicking game, and an average overall
supporting cast. With DE Chris Long and G Branden Albert headed to the
NFL, the lines lose two special players. Making matters worse, this was
supposed to be QB Jameel Sewell’s breakout year, but he and a few other
starters have been declared academically ineligible.
With a schedule that begins with USC and ends with Virginia Tech, the
Cavaliers will be hard-pressed to win seven games. With so many
underclassmen filling important spots in the two-deep, this season will
be about laying a foundation for much better results in 2009.
But is it really all gloom and doom? Raise your hands if you thought the
Cavs would win nine last year. No, this won’t be a world-beater, but the
ACC isn’t the SEC this season and Groh has done more with less. The
program has cranked out five winning seasons in the last six and has
seemingly always been able to surprise. That’ll have to be the case
What to look for on offense: Things open up a little bit.
Virginia won’t be channeling Texas Tech any time soon, but some of the
program’s coaches did spend time in Lubbock in the offseason trying to
pick the complex brain of Red Raider head coach Mike Leach. While the
attack will still strive for balance, new quarterback Peter Lalich gives
the offense a young hurler with the live arm needed to distribute the
ball to an improving receiving corps.
What to look for on defense: The secondary will struggle against
quality passing teams. Yes, there’s talent in the defensive backfield,
but most of it is young and prone to making mistakes in coverage. The
Cavs were helped immensely last year by the pressure generated by Chris
Long and Jeffrey Fitzgerald, but both are gone meaning opposing
quarterbacks will get an extra second or two. That’s troubling news for
a defensive backfield breaking in three new starters.
This team will be much better if… the offensive line adjusts on the
fly to having three new starters on the inside. If the Cavaliers are
stout up front, it’ll mean Lalich can grow at a reasonable pace
and the offense can control the tempo of games
with the running of Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson.
The Schedule: The tone could be set for the season in the
opener against USC, but no one will be expecting a win. A non-conference
road trip to Connecticut will also be tough, and East Carolina isn't
going to be a layup. In ACC play the Cavaliers have to deal with
Wake Forest and Clemson from the Atlantic, while road trips Georgia Tech
and Virginia Tech will likely decide whether or not they're really
Coastal Division contenders.
Best Offensive Player: Senior LT Eugene Monroe. Monroe is on target
to make it three straight years that a Cavalier offensive lineman gets
selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, following in the footsteps
of D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Branden Albert. A nimble 6-6 and 315-pound
blocker, he continues to improve his overall game, sealing off all pass
rushers he faced in 2007. The sky’s the limit this fall, with national
honors within reach now that he’s finally the team’s signature blocker.
Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Clint Sintim. Sintim is exactly
what Al Groh and Virginia need in a 3-4 linebacker, someone who’s tough
in run defense and a beast as a pass rusher. At 6-3 and 254 pounds, he
sheds blockers effortlessly, racking up 77 tackles, 17 quarterback
hurries, and nine sacks last season. NFL scouts have already labeled him
a slam dunk draft choice next April.
Key player to a successful season: Redshirt freshman PK Chris
Hinkebein. Considering how many nail-biters Virginia participated in
last year, Chris Gould wound up being instrumental in the program’s
nine-win season. He’s gone, so it’ll be up to Hinkebein to send the ‘Hoo
fans home happy when the school gets embroiled in more close games this
The season will be a success if ... Virginia bowls. If Groh and
his staff can milk seven wins out of a transitioning team that has an
inexperienced starting quarterback and uncertainty on both lines, it’ll
qualify as a head of steam for the following year. There’s enough talent
to get it done, especially if the Cavs show as much grit and resiliency
in tight games as they did a year ago.
Key game: Oct. 4 vs. Maryland. The Cavs will be kicking
off an important three-game home stand against a similarly ranked ACC
opponent. This will be a huge game for both schools in the race to reach
bowl eligibility. Virginia has owned Maryland of late in
Charlottesville, with the trend needing to continue in order to remain
in the black in the race for the postseason.
2007 Fun Stats:
quarter scoring: Virginia 125 – Opponents 62
- Third quarter scoring: Opponents 57 – Virginia 19
- Sacks: Virginia 43 for 291 yards – Opponents 33 for 212 yards