Last week the Virginia football team did the unexpected by achieving the expected. CAA opponent William & Mary left Scott Stadium after being defeated by UVA. It was a simple challenge, but nonetheless, a season opening win for a much maligned football program.
This week things don’t drastically change in terms of quality of opponent for the ‘Hoos, but they certainly ramp up.
Here is what Virginia must do to win the game.
– Slow down the Hoosier offense. Indiana almost ran 100 plays against Ohio State in their opener. Virginia only saw 56 offensive snaps from W&M. The depth of the Cavalier defense is not good enough to handle a high snap count. 3 and outs will be important, and getting off the field will be crucial.
– Run the ball. Jordan Ellis was solid last week. At 4 yards a carry, he did a good job. While he received the bulk of the load (20 carries), Daniel Hamm averaged 5 yards a pop on just 7 carries. The best way to help out the defense this afternoon will be for the team in blue to tote the rock and burn some clock.
– Consistency from the second tier stars on defense. Malcolm Cook and Juan Thornhill were impressive in the opener. Those two guys must become household names by the end of September if this team wants to thrive and make a bowl game. In order for that to occur, they must display their reliability and get out there and make as many plays as we saw in Week 1.
– More deep balls from Benkert. Kurt had one of the best throws in all of college football with a 34 yard dime to Andre Levrone in the corner of the endzone on first down against the Tribe. His touch has been a question mark to this stage in his career. If he can prove that pass wasn’t an anomaly, that’d be a great sign for this offense.