Preview 2019: Virginia. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Virginia. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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Preview 2019: Virginia. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRGINIA DEFENSE

The defense that finished third in the ACC and allowed just 20 points per game loses two key parts in S Juan Thornhill and LB Chris Peace, but there’s a whole lot of talent coming back. Eight starters and eight of the top ten tacklers are back, and best of all, they’re young with a whole lot of promising depth in the rotation.

The secondary takes the biggest hit with two lost starters, but it has an All-America talent at one corner spot in Bryce Hall, and a fantastic-tackling safety in junior Joey Blount. Junior Brenton Nelson isn’t Thornhill, but he’s coming off a 41-tackle season, and junior Darrius Bratton played enough in the rotation to be ready to go on the other side of Hall.

Peace might be gone from the linebacking corps, but Jordan Mack is a big hitter from his spot on the inside, and 6-7, 225-pound junior Charles Snowden is a good hybrid edge rusher from a spot on the outside. It’ll take a rotation to replace Peace, but 235-pound Zane Zandier was fifth on the team with 63 tackles, and 215-pound Evan Clark is a quick option to step in.

– There’s going to be a fantastic rotation on the front three. 6-4, 300-pound senior Eli Hanback can play on the nose or as a big end, and 6-0, 320-pound Jordan Redmond will be a fixture on the inside and an occasional anchor.

There are more veterans in the mix to go along with the young parts – like sophomores Aaron Faumui and Tommy Christ – for the best line yet under Bronco Mendenhall.

NEXT: Top Players, Keys To the Season, What Will Happen

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