Although head coach Al Groh has a winning record at UVA, he just hasn't been able to field consistent teams year in and year out during his eight years in Charlottesville. Coming off of an 5-7 season, changes were needed and changes were made. There's a new offensive coordinator in Gregg Brandon and he will be expected to improve an offense that was among the worse in the country.
To start off, the Cavs are not sure who their signal caller will be when they kickoff against William & Mary on the fifth of September. Senior QB Jameel Sewell has returned after sitting out last season due to some academic issues. He will be competing against Virginia's Mr. Everything Vic Hall.
Hall played cornerback for his first three seasons on campus and was the teams leading tackler last season. Vic Hall has played some QB before. In fact, against Virginia Tech last year he rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Whomever wins the starting nod between Hall and Sewell, expect the loser to still get playing time at QB.
In the running game, UVA will have to replace the departed Cedric Pearman who was the heart soul of the team during his career. Look for senior Mikell Simpson to shoulder the load.
The receiving corps doesn't appear to be an area of great strength for the Cavs. Sophmore Jared Green and redshirt freshman Javaris Brown are penciled in as the starters, but no one knows what to expect from them.
On the offensive line, four starters return. Sophmore LT Landon Bradley has a chance to become the next great tackle in the mold of D'Brickashaw Ferguson and recently drafted Eugene Monroe. Cohessiveness on the o-line is essential to any teams success, especially to a team that has question marks at quarterback.
When Al Groh arrived back in 2001, he brought the 3-4 scheme with him. A defense that emphasizes athletic linebackers. The Cavaliers lost three out of their four starting linebackers from last year's team and will be looking to see who will fill their shoes. Steve Greer, Darren Childs and Aaron Clark are slated to be the new starters alongside returning starter OLB Denzell Burrell.
UVA has uncommon size at the cornerback position. Both of their starting DBs are 6'2 and over 200 lbs. Junior Ras-I Dowling is on the verge of superstardom. An All-ACC Second team selection last year, Dowling is considered a ball hawk and could be in the running for the Thorpe Award this year. Senior Chris Cook is solid at the other corner as well.
This season could be a long one for the Cavs. Plenty of question marks on both sides of the ball could spell doom for Al Groh after this season. Not to mention that his team in the midst of losing nine out of ten to in-state and conference rival Virginia Tech.
Prediction: 4-8 (2-6 in ACC)