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Jun
15
2016

State of the Program – Virginia Football

State of the Programs

Virginia Tech | Georgia Tech | Boston College | Syracuse | Miami | Wake Forest

UVASOPnobox

Season Review

 Record: 4-8 (3-5 ACC)

Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall

 

 

Passing Rushing Total Offense
Split G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg
Offense 12 21.0 34.4 61.0 238.3 1.8 35.3 144.8 4.1 1.1 69.8 383.0 5.5
Defense 12 19.5 31.3 62.4 254.8 1.9 34.8 156.7 4.5 1.3 66.1 411.5 6.2
Difference +1.5 +3.1 -1.4 -16.5 -0.1 +0.5 -11.9 -0.4 -0.2 +3.7 -28.5 -0.7
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 6/12/2016.

 

There’s a new sherriff in town and he goes by the name of Bronco Mendenhall. His arrival to Charlottesville came with much fanfare, as the former BYU coach is ready to embrace a new challenge. Mendenhall arrives from BYU after 11 seasons as their head coach where he was 99-43 and appeared in bowl games in all 11 seasons. Mendenhall also recorded five 10+ win seasons in his tenure as BYU head coach.

Former head coach Mike London just couldn’t get the job done on the field last season for UVA. In 2015, the Cavaliers started the season 1-4 and still were unable to capitalize on scheduling strong out of conference opponents. The Cavaliers lost 34-16 to UCLA in their season opener against UCLA and lost their week 2 home opener against Notre Dame 34-27 in heartbreaking fashion on a last second touchdown. In Week 4, UVA was drubbed at home 56-14 and it seemed like the end was inevitable for London. Mike London resigned after compiling a record of 27-46 in 6 seasons. London’s best season came in 2011 when UVA was 8-5 and qualified for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Key Players Returning

 

Offense: Taquan Mizzell, RB

Rushing Receiving
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2013 Virginia ACC FR UT 10 45 184 4.1 1 29 164 5.7 1
2014 Virginia ACC SO RB 12 64 280 4.4 2 39 271 6.9 0
2015 Virginia ACC JR RB 12 164 664 4.0 4 75 721 9.6 4
Career Virginia 273 1128 4.1 7 143 1156 8.1 5
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 6/12/2016.
Taquan Mizzell enters his senior season after seeing a drastic jump in his receiving yards and usage as more than a running back last season. Mizzell was UVA’s leading rusher last season with 664 rushing yards and was second in receiving yards with 721 behind departed senior Canaan Severin who had 747 receiving yards.
Mizzell accumulated 1,385 yards from scrimmage and 8 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 4 receiving) last season. With the addition of Bronco Mendenhall’s system, expect a huge role for Mizzell whose yards from scrimmage was 4th in the ACC behind Dalvin Cook, Wayne Gallman, and Elijah Hood. UVA still has experience on its side, outside that whole quarterback transfer thing, so expect this team to be a competitor in the ACC Coastal next season.

Defense: Micah Kiser, LB

Micah Kiser made the most of his expanded role on defense for the Cavaliers in 2015 by tying for 1st in assisted tackles (52) and was tied for 2nd with forced fumbles (3) in the ACC. The sophomore linebacker led UVA in sacks with 7.5 and tackles for loss with 14. Kiser’s 65 solo tackles were good for second on the team as well behind safety Quin Blanding’s 68 solo tackles.

Kiser’s junior campaign could be an energized one with the arrival of Bronco Mendenhall’s new culture change which puts discipline first. Kiser

Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
2014 Virginia ACC FR LB 10 9 6 15 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 Virginia ACC SO LB 12 65 52 117 14.0 7.5 0 0 0 2 2 3
Career Virginia 74 58 132 14.0 7.5 0 0 0 2 2 3
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 6/12/2016.

Key Newcomer

 

Jared Cohen, OL

Jared Cohen comes to UVA after departing North Carolina. Cohen started all 13 games for UNC as an offensive guard as a true freshman before sitting out the 2015 season. Cohen can strengthen the offensive line of a team looking to get over the proverbial hump, look for Cohen to compete for a starting spot this fall.

At 6’3″, 310 pounds, Cohen was rated the 11th best player in the state of Maryland coming out of the McDonogh School and the 22nd best offensive guard overall in 2014. He chose to transfer to UVA over Louisville.

 

Season Preview

Record: 6-6 (3-5 ACC), 5th in Coastal

It’s hard to ignore the body of work Mendenhall brings to UVA’s football program. Much like the turn around their basketball program has had with Tony Bennett, Mendenhall could be “the guy”. As an Independent, Brigham Young’s defense allowed 22.8 points per game, good for 36th overall in the NCAAs. Last season they defeated Nebraska on the road 33-28 and Boise State the next week at home 35-24. In 2015, UVA allowed 32.2 points per game, 96th overall.

UVA does play a favorable schedule this season, which could work out in their favor, making them bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. Their toughest contest is Oregon on the road but it could prove to be a good litmus test for how the upcoming season will go. UVA will be in most games but in the end, they may not see more than 3 ACC wins this season.

Richmond

W

@Oregon

L

@UConn

W

Central Michigan

W

@Duke

W

Pittsburgh

L

UNC

W

Louisville

L

@Wake Forest

W

Miami

L

@Georgia Tech

L

Virginia Tech

L

Thoughts? Questions? Feedback? Feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter, @HereGoJayAgain!

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