2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Virginia Offense
Start scoring more in the red zone. The Virginia offense will be good, the defense will be solid, and the team should be among the ACC’s steadiest, but the team won’t be good enough to giveaway points.
Last year’s team played four games decided by four points or fewer losing three of them. In back-to-back three point losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers went 6-of-9 inside the 20.
The Cavaliers scored an ACC-worst 74% of the time in the red zone, coming away with points 40 times in 54 trips. Even worse, they couldn’t come up with touchdowns, getting into the end zone just 52% of the time on those trips – only 14 teams were worse.
Biggest Key To The Virginia Defense
Don’t get hammered on. The size, depth, and talent are all there on the front three, and the linebacking corps is good enough to be among the ACC’s most effective. Now the whole group has to be stronger against the run.
The run D wasn’t awful – it finished fourth in the ACC – but when it had a rough day, the team lost. Virginia allowed 200 rushing yards or more five times, and went 1-4. Over the last ten games, the Cavs are 2-8 when giving up two bills or more.
Key Player To A Successful Season
RB PK Kier, Jr.
And Wayne Taulapapa, and Lamont Atkins, and all of the running backs who need to step up with Jordan Ellis gone. QB Bryce Perkins might be the most dangerous running weapon, but the running backs have to take over more of the load and have to keep their guy from taking shots.
Perkins ran 212 times, and while he’s built for handling the load, the team needs him to stay in one piece. Kier is a 6-0, 230-pound quick runner with a nice burst, but he was out for a big part of spring ball. That allowed others to step up, but if and when he’s right, he’s the best option to be the nw Ellis.
Key Game To The Virginia Season
Virginia Tech, Nov. 29
There might be bigger games in the hunt for the ACC title – going to Miami in mid-October is the one – but the Cavaliers have to finally get by the Hokies for the first time in 16 tries. Virginia won in 2003, and there’s been a whole lot of pain and suffering since then, bottoming out in a brutally painful late loss last season.
This time around, considering the rest of the schedule isn’t all that bad, a win could be for the Coastal title … and to get a few bragging rights again.
– Virginia Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Virginia Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: Virginia 8-of-13 (62%) – Opponents 10-of-23 (43%)
– Fumbles: Virginia 19 (lost 10) – Opponents 12 (lost 4)
– Time of Possession: Virginia 32:34 – Opponents 27:26