College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers

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College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers

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College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Virginia Cavaliers season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Schedule Analysis
– Virginia Previews 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2019 Record: 9-5 overall, 6-2 in ACC
Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall, 5th year, 25-27
2019 CFN Final Opinion Ranking: 23
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 31
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 27

5. College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers Offense 3 Things To Know

1990. That was the last time a Virginia offense scored at the level of the 2019 attack. The offense might have finished eighth in the ACC, but it averaged over 32 points per game, led the conference in time of possession, and was second in third down conversions.

It did what a Bronco Mendenhall offense is supposed to do.

However, the guy who made it all go is gone. QB Bryce Perkins was the only passer – not Joe Burrow, not Jake Fromm – to hit the Florida defense for 300 passing yards, and he pulled off one of the greatest performances in ACC history in the win over Virginia Tech. Now the Cavaliers have to find another quarterback who can move the offense like Perkins could.

Sophomore Brennan Armstrong has been in the system for a few years and served as the No. 2 guy last year, but in comes Keytaon Thompson from Mississippi State to make a big, big push. Thompson has the size and the dual-threat abilities, but Perkins was a 65% passer last season. The sample size is limited, but Thompson only hit 48% of his throws at MSU.


CFN in 60 Video: Virginia Cavaliers Preview


Perkins was the team’s leading rusher, but 5-9, 210-pound Wayne Taulapapa led the team with 12 rushing scores and was second with 473 yards. PK Kier was the third-leading back, but he’s no longer with the program. Mike Hollis averaged over five yards per carry with three scores, and coming from Indiana is Ronnie Walker, a good-sized transfer who should be an instant part of the rotation.

The receiving corps loses leading receiver Hasise Dubois and the dangerous Joe Reed, but Terrell Jana can become a No. 1 target. It’s a thin group in terms of experience, but speedy Tavares Kelly came up with 14 grabs, and Dorien Goddard is a dangerous 6-3, 220-pound redshirt freshman in the mix.

The stats don’t do the Virginia offensive line justice. There were problems in pass protection – Notre Dame seemed like it spent the whole second half jumping on Bryce Perkins’ head – overall it was a relatively effective group. Now, with all five starters expected to return, it needs to be more of a killer for the ground game and has to be tighter at keeping defenses out of the backfield.

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: Virginia Cavaliers Defense 3 Things To Know

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