Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 College Football Previews: The Atlantic Coast Conference

The only way a BCS conference can build its reputation is how it competes and wins
games against other BCS leagues. The ACC’s track record against other BCS conferences has been awful.

The numbers from the 2012 season broke down like this:
ACC vs. Big East: 5-5
ACC vs. Big Ten: 1-1
ACC vs. Big 12: 0-3
ACC vs. Pac-12: 1-1
ACC vs. SEC: 2-6
ACC vs. Notre Dame: 0-3

When you go 5-5 versus the Big East you have some work to do.

With all that said the tide might be turning. The ACC finished the bowl season 4-2 including Georgia Tech’s blowout win over Southern California and Clemson’s thrilling win over LSU.

The ACC has a few opportunities to keep trending up against the other BCS leagues. It will take some huge wins over big name schools (Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida) to move up from number five in the BCS pecking order.

Atlantic Division

Florida State Seminoles 2012 Record: 12-2

What To Like About The Seminoles
An Abundance Of Skill Players: FSU is loaded with speed, talent and skill. Just look at the receiver position, Rashad Greene can grab the ball in traffic or simply out run you plus with Kenny Shaw, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Dent that corps of receivers is pretty stout. James Wilder, Jr, Devonta Freeman and newcomer Mario Pender give FSU a trio of dynamic running backs.

Things The Seminoles Need To Improve On
Quarterback: Freshman Jameis Winston impressed during spring practice but he has not taken a snap in a college game before. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has not named Winston as the starting quarterback….. yet. If Fisher does go with Winston his development on the fly will be key.

Schedule Breakdown:
Opening the season at Pittsburgh, the Panthers first ACC game, appears to be a trap game from the start but then again FSU has had 15 spring practices and a fall camp to prepare for that one. Florida State’s biggest games are on the road, October 19th at Clemson and their regular season finale November 30th at Florida.

And Now A Word From Coach Fisher:
“You have to have confidence. Winning a BCS game for the first time in 13 years, people say you should have, well if it was that easy we would have done it more than once in the last 13 years. Those things are hard. Winning a conference championship for the first time in seven years, and when you call yourself a champion even though that championship doesn’t carry any weight this season. We are not defending anything to go win something again but it does give you the blueprint to how to work, how to do things, what to expect. It does give that confidence that you know something I’ve been here, I’ve done this, I know how to act in these situations and allows your program and you individually to grow.

OSG’s Take
Wilkie: It all comes down to one game, October 19th at Clemson. Other than that, FSU should win 10 games simply because they have so much more talent than anyone else in the ACC.

Phil: Yup. Since I chimed in last, both Wilkie and Jon have summed this up pretty well. While they are talented enough to run the table, odds say they don’t. For some reason they always seem to fold under pressure. Always.

Jon: I could recuse myself from this preview as an alumnus, but I will say this. In the last decade, there’s always that game we shouldn’t win and do and one we shouldn’t lose but we do. I’m thinking the latter this season and more headaches for being almost above average for another year in a row.

Clemson Tigers 2012 Record 11-2

Things To Like About The Tigers:

The Return Of Tajh Boyd: When Boyd was walking off the field after Clemson’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl win over LSU he was leaning toward declaring for the NFL draft. Boyd decided to return to Clemson because his report from the NFL scouting service wasn’t all that favorable and he genuinely loves college football. Tajh Boyd is poised for a special season and just might make a Heisman Trophy run.

Say It’s So Sammy: Sammy Watkins had one hell of a sophomore slump. From a two game suspension to start the 2012 season to kidney infections to a sprained ankle that limited his playing time and the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins limiting his touches. Watkins should be back in form for his junior season, few possess his game changing ability. Watkins is a treat to score every time he touches the ball.

Things Clemson Needs To Improve On:
Defense: It’s just average. Head coach Dabo Swinney feels good about their progress but can this unit make key stops against the “big boys” on the schedule (Georgia, FSU, South Carolina)?

Schedule Analysis:
The Georgia game won’t make or break Clemson’s season but it will provide instant analysis as to where Clemson is especially on defense. By the luck of the draw Clemson is Syracuse’s first ACC game at the Carrier Dome, be prepared to be overdosed in Orange.

And Now A Word From Coach Swinney:
“This time last year we were a major, major work in progress defensively. It was scary actually.”
“The big thing is we have grown up in the trenches. Last year we had one senior no juniors so they were all freshman and sophomores. Fast forward a year later and we have all juniors and some key sophomores.”
“I really feel like our front seven is going to be the strength of our team. When this season is over I’ll be incredibly disappointed if our front seven is not one of our main strengths if not the strength of our football team. If you can be good up front defensively it sure solves a lot of problems.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Clemson might beat Georgia and Florida State but which game will be the Tigers puzzling loss, they annually have one. My guess either at Syracuse or at Virginia. That’s the only thing that might keep Clemson from winning the ACC and challenging for the BCS national title.

Phil: Best Clemson team in awhile, except for 2 things--(1) The defense and (2) See FSU. Mystifyingly, they also seem to lose a game they shouldn’t. Without fail. They’ll be favored for pretty much every game but somehow will manage to go 10-2.

Jon: And that’s what will keep FSU on top and Clemson second in the division- that and Jadaveon Clowney scaring Tajh Boyd…

Syracuse Orange 2012 Record: 8-5

Things To Like About The Orange:
Running Backs: Syracuse may have the best running back combo in the ACC. Jerome Smith is central casting for a classic power back. Smith rushed for 1,171 yards last season and only fumbled once in 227 carries. Prince – Tyson Gulley is a perfect complement to Smith who can also catch balls out of the back field.

What Syracuse Needs To Improve On:
Find A Quarterback: Ryan Nassib won’t be walking into the locker room this year. There will be competition with no clear front runner right now.

Schedule Breakdown:
Syracuse opens with Penn State at MetLife Stadium then it’s a roadie vs Northwestern. Tough way to open the season. Only Clemson of the Atlantic Division big boys comes to the Carrier Dome.

And Now A Word From Coach Shafer:
“I’m extremely anxious to take our tradition for what Syracuse is and add our traditions to those traditions in this conference and go compete, go compete our ass off. To me that’s what it’s all about and our kids are fired up to do so.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: After meeting and getting to know coach Shafer I’m a big fan. Shafer spent some time as defensive coordinator at Stanford when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach and has a lot of his qualities. Unfortunately it’s going to be a tough season for the Orange with a 4-8 season likely.

Phil: They will be competitive because they can run. Very few, if any ACC teams are good at that. They’ll need to ball control, keep it close and hope whichever QB emerges can win it. They’ll struggle to get to a bowl game.

Jon: Without Nassib and Doug Marrone, it will be interesting to see just how the case study goes. I don’t think year one will go well at all…

NC State Wolfpack 2012 Record: 7-6

Things To Like About The Wolfpack:
A Trio Of Receivers: New head coach Dave Doeren likes to toss the ball around and he inherits three really good receivers in Bryan Underwood, Quintin Payton and Rashard Smith. This trio should get plenty of touches in the new up-tempo offense.

What The Wolfpack Needs To Improve On:
Make A List: Who will emerge as the starting quarterback for one. Can State get more production from the running back position? Will a young offensive line gel in time to start the season and can the Wolfpack defense overcome losses at linebacker and the secondary.

Schedule Breakdown:
Somebody did NC State a favor putting together the 2013 schedule. The Wolfpack have only two games outside the state of North Carolina including eight games at Carter-Finley Stadium.

And Now A Word From Coach Doeren:
“I’m in the frame of mind of building a championship. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. We might be better than I think we might be worse than I think. I really don’t know.
“I have to get out on the field with our current talent and really see where we stand and then make the correct adjustments and fill in the voids with recruiting and development to get us where we need to be.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: I’m like coach Doeren. I have no clue how to forecast NC State. The Wolfpack may not have the players to win enough games to go to a bowl game however their schedule is so favorable NC State has a really good chance to play in one.

Phil: These guys are just never as good as they think they should be. A traditional “Middle of the Pack” team and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Way too many holes here. If they match last years record, they should consider it a small miracle.

Jon: I think it’ll be an appearance in one of the conference minor bowls before we’re done because other teams are worse. Not because State is that much better than anyone else…

Maryland Terrapins 2012 Record: 4-8

Things To Like About The Terrapins:
Speed And Skill On The Perimeter: Stefon Diggs is a bona fide home run hitter. Diggs is a threat to go the distance every time he has his hands on the ball. On the other side Maryland adds JUCO transfer Deon Long who was the best receiver in junior college last year. Long led the country in receiving yards (1,625) and touchdowns (25). C.J. Brown will have plenty of weapons to throw to.

What The Terrapins Need To Improve On:
Newby’s On Defense: The Terps must replace seven starters from a defense that was third best in the ACC last season. That’s a lot to ask but if the Terp defense can at least maintain status quo things in College Park might turn around.

Schedule Breakdown:
Back to back games vs West Virginia in Baltimore and at Florida State will be brutal. The Terps get Clemson at home this year and must go to Blacksburg, VA to face Virginia Tech.

And Now A Word From Coach Edsall:
“I don’t look at it as a transitional season at all, I look at it as hey we have a tremendous schedule in the ACC. We are going to be going up against great competition, great players, great coaches. Our whole approach is we are focused and intent to be better and make sure we go out and prepare the right way and do all the thing we are supposed to do to get as many victories as we possibly can. The bottom line is we are playing in the Atlantic Division and we are looking to try to win that. We are trying to get to the championship game and get ourselves into a BCS game.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Maryland is going to be much better, the Terps can’t possibly lose three quarterbacks again. If there is very little drop off on defense Maryland goes to a bowl game, a third place finish in the ACC Atlantic Division is likely.

Phil: They’ll be better. And no reason they shouldn’t be. But....that being said, they are still a mediocre team that will struggle at times and the questions about Edsall will continue. If he wants to remain, they’ll need to get to a bowl game. Good luck with that.

Jon: See NC State… and the conference won’t have to worry about Maryland that much longer, anyway…

Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2012 Record: 5-7

Things To Like About The Demon Deacons:
Michael Of All Trades: Michael Campanaro’s position may be receiver but he has been known to play the running back position, return kicks and even throw the ball. Campanaro is Tanner Price’s favorite target and will be called upon to take more handoffs this season.

What The Demon Deacons Need To Improve On:
Just Stop Somebody: The Demon Deacon defense was among the ACC’s worst last season but much of that could be attributed toward injuries. The defensive line should be much better with the return of nose guard Nikita Whitlock but the linebackers must be better at getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. The defensive backs allowed way to many big plays last year, that’s got to be cut down.

Schedule Breakdown:
Three of Wake Forest’s first five games are on the road, might be a tough start. Back to back roadies at Miami and at Syracuse late in the year is not fun either. The Deacs do draw Florida State at home.

And Now A Word From Coach Grobe:
“We probably hurt ourselves by trying to be too much of a pass happy football team. Too much pressure on the O-Line, too much pressure on the skill guys and I think last year we found out how important a guy like Mike Campanaro is to you. Mike got hurt in the Duke game we really lost our ability to move the football and score points.”
“We have got to get away from just counting on just 2 or 3 guys to get the job done we’ve got to rely on the other guys on the offense.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Jim Grobe’s feeling pressure to win and so he’s going back to the basics. Wake Forest is a veteran team and usually when Grove starts seniors the Deacs play well. If Tanner Price is much more consistant this year Wake has a chance to win six games and go bowling.

Phil: Agreed with Jon. They are probably the definition of average. Anything better than 6-6 should be considered a major success. Can’t win if you can’t stop anyone.

Jon: I can’t get a good read on Wake (sorry, J-Dub)… which, probably means a struggle to get to .500

Boston College Eagles
2012 Record 2-10

Things To Like About The Eagles:

B-C Will Kick Your Butt: Win or lose you opponent’s very rarely out-physical Boston College. Linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis and Steele Divitto (great name for a linebacker) are outstanding. Don Brown is the Eagles new defensive coordinator and likes aggressive defenses that love to blitz. That might bode well this year:

What The Eagles Need To Improve On:

What Has Happened To Offensive Line “U”: The last few years Boston College’s offensive live has be very poor. This is a program that regular developed offensive lineman into decent NFL careers. Last year B-C allowed 36 sacks, near the bottom of the ACC and 106th in the NCAA, that has to improve.

Schedule Breakdown:

The Eagles may start out 2-0 with home games against Villanova and Wake Forest, and then reality will set in. First is off to L.A. to battle Southern California then hosting Florida State. Now someone explain to me why Boston College is going to Los Cruces, New Mexico to play New Mexico State?

And Now A Word From Coach Addazio:

“I think we have great kids in our program. They are high character, they really want to be good, they’ve got great work ethic and I just enjoyed being with them every day. “

“We’ve had the opportunity to coach really highly motivated student athletes and that is fun.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Eagle linebacker Steele Divitto told me that it’s been a culture shock at B-C since Steve Addazio took over even right to their team slogan, “Be A Dude." Addazio is a high energy guy that preaches toughness and accountability. Addazio’s first year as the Eagles head coach is going to be well tough. Perhaps three wins but it’s going to be a long year.


Jon: Maybe a little better than last year, but not much... another long wouldn't surprise me if they lose to Villanova, too...

Coastal Division

Miami Hurricanes 2012 Record: 7-5

Things To Like About The Hurricanes:
Get The Ball In Duke’s Hands: Duke Johnson had quite the year as a freshman gaining 947 yards which was second in the ACC in rushing. Johnson was a force on special teams with 895 yards returning kickoffs. Head coach Al Golden wants to put the ball in his hands more this year. Johnson’s got the talent to burst onto the national scene this year.

Morris Is The Man: Quarterback Stephen Morris flies way under the radar, even in the ACC. He completed 51 percent of his passes last year and even set an ACC single game record for passing yards with 566 against NC State. With the weapons Morris has at his disposal, Duke Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Morris is poised for a great year.

What The Hurricanes Need To Improve On:
Starting From Scratch On Defense: Miami had the worst defense in the ACC last season and was ranked 116 in the nation in total defense. The Hurricanes couldn’t stop the run or the pass. There’s no way to go but up.

Schedule Breakdown:
The Hurricanes draw Floirda in week two, that will be huge for the ‘Canes to re-establish their national brand. They have both in state teams, Florida and Florida State, at Sun Life Stadium. Miami’s schedule is very manageable.

And Now A Word From Coach Golden:
“During this whole ordeal we’ve been going through we haven’t had one kid come in with their family and say ‘you know what coach this is just to tenuous, I have no idea what’s going on with the NCAA, we want to get out of dodge.’ And that really speaks to our coaches. That really speaks to the commitment that those young people have made to each other and speaks to the brotherhood that is the University of Miami football program.”

“They didn’t sit around and complain about it. They went back to work. They believe as we all believe that we’re going to have that opportunity if we do the things we need to do that opportunity won’t be taken away from us this year.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: This Miami team is loaded offensively. If the Hurricane defense does improve then I would expect to see the ‘Canes in Charlotte in December.

Phil: Big dropoff from FSU/Clemson to these guys. Sure they’ll score, but will they stop anyone. Not convinced. If. Big IF--Morris improves they have a shot, but they’ll need to score. A lot

Jon: I think they’ll improve, but not as much as people think. It’ll be a fight between the Canes and the next guys to decide the division…

Virginia Tech Hokies 2012 Record: 7-6

Things To Like About The Hokies:
Solid Defense: This side of the ball has been a model of consistency. Bud Foster’s defense was again among the nation’s best last season ranking 18th. With blue collar players like Jack Tyler and exceptional corners Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller it’s going to be one of the best again.

What The Hokies Need To Improve On:
Generating Some Offense: With very little production in the running game and lack of confidence in his receivers Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas felt like he had to do it all last season and carry the team on his shoulders. Thomas has some broad shoulders but not that big. Thomas has bonded with new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler but finding a running back and a go to receiver are the priorities.

Schedule Breakdown:
It’s a dicey one. First opening the season in Atlanta against Alabama, good luck. Week three the Hokies play at East Carolina and a November schedule that has Virginia Tech on the road three of their last 4 games.

And Now A Word From Coach Beamer:
“I think we are at a good starting point. We’ve got a good defense, we’ve got a good quarterback, we’ve got good kickers and to me that’s a good starting point. I think we’ve got some talented players there in the offense, some of them are going to have to come along a play probably better than the should with their experience level and maturity. How well that develops probably will determine how well we are as a football team.”

“We’ve got a chance because I believe we have the foundation we just have to put it together.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: There’s a tendency to think the Hokies are in decline. Think of Frank Beamer’s great teams in the past, they have always had one, even two great running backs. They need to find one this season. The Hokies will keep the bowl streak alive but that November schedule is tough.

Phil: Wilkie, they are in decline. But I don’t chalk that up to coaching. THey don’t have the players. All their eggs are in Thomas’s basket and he’s been immensely disappointing. They’ll be solid. And in this half of the draw, it may be enough.

Jon: These guys are the only team that will keep Miami out of the title game. The program just seems to be floating about right now without any fear being put in the opposition like in year’s past. It’ll be a top-4 ACC bowl for these guys…

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2012 Record: 7-7

Things To Like About The Yellow Jackets:
Vad Lee And His Versitility: Paul Johnson gave quarterback Vad Lee a lot of playing time last year and his presence seemed to spark the Georgia Tech offense. Lee’s performance against North Carolina last year (169 yards passing, 112 yards rushing) is the kind of versatility that has been lacking at the quarterback position the last few years.

What the Yellow Jackets Need To Improve On:
New Leadership With The GT Defense: Obviously things didn’t work out with Al Groh in charge of the Georgia Tech defense. The Yellow Jackets gave up 42 points to Miami, 49 points to Middle Tennessee State and 47 points to Clemson in a three week period before Groh was dismissed. Ted Roof comes back to the Flats and has installed an aggressive defense that will fit the pass rushing skills of Jeremiah Attouchu. Cutting down opponants scoring opportunites is key.

Schedule Breakdown:
It’s not a bad one. The Jackets get North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Georgia at home. Back to back road trips at Miami then at BYU is not ideal.

And Now A Word From Coach Johnson:
“We aren’t going to vary from what we do [offensively]. Last year I think we averaged 400 yards and 40 points a game in the league. Clearly we would like to be more consistent with Vad, more efficient and want to win more games. We’re not going to blow it up and start over.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: OK I’m curious about Georgia Tech. On paper they look no better than a 6-6 team yet there was a general feeling at the ACC Football Kickoff event that the Yellow Jackets may be better that we think. Moving Jeremiah Attaochu to Defensive End is a great move. If Vad Lee develops into a duel threat quarterback Georgia Tech might be in the mix to repeat (and I use that word rather loosely) as Coastal Division champions.

Phil: CPJ, while proving to be a much more entertaining follow on Twitter than I could ever have imagined, is in trouble. The ACC has figured out his offense. Or at least enough to keep them somewhat under wraps. Unless a B-Back breaks from the pack, Lee can’t do it alone. And never mind the D--or lack of it. Wilkie already said it, 6-6 and a new coach in 2014.

Jon: I’m looking at paper and thinking paper is right…

North Carolina Tar Heels 2012 Record: 8-4

Things To Like About The Tar Heels:
“Fedora’s Freak Show” Part 2: Head coach Larry Fedora promised an offense that was hopped up on Red Bull and delivered. The Tar Heels averaged a school record 40.6 points per game last season. Hell Carolina scored 50 against Georgia Tech and lost. It helps when you have a quarterback in Bryn Renner who rarely makes mistakes and is pinpoint accurate.

What The Tar Heels Need To Improve On:
Filling The Void Of Giovani Bernard: Giovani Bernard was the most exciting player in the ACC last season. Who’s going to fill that “big play” void the Heels had in Bernard? Receiver Quinshad Davis is a candidate on the edge, out of the backfield that might be accomplished by committee. A.J. Blue and Romar Morris aren’t bad but combined can they add up to Bernard’s production and overall explosiveness?

Schedule Breakdown:
The Tar Heels open the season at South Carolina. North Carolina must play Coastal Division foes Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech on the road.

And Now A Word From Coach Fedora:
“Bryn [Renner] really fits what we are trying to do offensively. Now part of that is that we have tweeked the offense to what Bryn can do and we are going to take advantage of his skills. Bryn can make every throw there is on the field. He’s got great arm strength. As the season went on last year he got so much better in the decision making process, also in game management. “

“If we take care of the football he [Renner] knows we’ve got an opportunity to win the football game.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Not having a home run hitter like Giovani Bernard is doing to hurt. Bryn Renner is a damn good quarterback. The Tar Heels go to a bowl game and match the win total from last year at eight.

Phil: Good team. Equal with Miami and Va.Tech IMO. Not great and definitely not better than Clemson/FSU, but they have a good shot at being in ACC Champ game. Like Larry the Hat as a coach, he’s done well here.

Jon: I think Larry Fedora is on a short list of coaches that will be getting big name jobs calling soon… another year like last year’s will give that to him. He’ll be getting those calls before we know it…

Pittsburgh Panthers 2012 Record 6-7

Things To Like About The Panthers:
Fantastic Front Seven: Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald was a beast in the Big East Conference last season leading that league in tackles (18.5) and that should carry over into the ACC. Pitt’s linebackers may be the best unit they have had in years. They will stop somebody.

What The Panthers Need To Improve On:
Establishing The Pass: Transfer Tom Savage figures to be Pitt’s quarterback this season and will be called upon to throw the ball to the Panther playmakers, especially Devin Street. Savage last saw significant playing time in 2009 as Rutgers’ starting quarterback. He will need to shake off the rust from lack of playing time and school hoping.

Schedule Analysis:
Pitt can make a big impression if they can get by Florida State on Labor Day night at Heinz Field. All in all, the schedule is not kind with Notre Dame (not a conference game) on the docket as well.

And Now A Word From Coach Chryst:
“I’ve been relieved that our guys aren’t just talking about one team. They understand and appreciate the depth of this league and to opportunities and challenges we face.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: The schedule is just too tough for Pitt to make a big splash during their first ACC season. Florida State might blow out Pitt from the start. 2013 will be a learning experience.

Phil: They fit the ACC well. Never bad, never great and always lose when they shouldn’t. Fit the prototype of a 6/7 win team that may scare some conference foes, but that’s about it.

Jon: Too much turmoil and too tough a schedule… I think coach Chryst will get another shock loss and the fan at Pitt will be really bent out of shape again…

Duke Blue Devils: 2012 Record: 6-7

Things To Like About The Blue Devils:
Actually Can Compete In The Trenches: Duke usually gets pushed around in the trenches, that’s not a given anymore. The Blue Devils have some size and some talent on the lines.

What The Blue Devils Need To Improve On:
Pitch And Catch Combo: Sean Renfree was a very capable quarterback and could always count on Connor Vernon for some big plays. Both have moved on. Anthony Boone takes over at quarterback and Jamison Crowder becomes the go to guy. Can they move the Duke offense consistently?

Schedule Breakdown:
Fairly easy. No Florida State, No Clemson from the Atlantic.

And Now A Word From Coach Cutcliffe:
“There is a lot of culture work still need to be done. And it’s just the culture is what it falls back to. It’s call inertia and it just keeps going back in other people’s minds. We have that battle and my message to the team and really to the staff is you don’t like what you’re getting then change what you are doing. I think the signal is now consistently being a winner. That’s on us to prove.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Yes Duke went to a bowl game but they lost six of their last seven games and finished with a losing record last season. Believe me, Duke football is light years ahead of what David Cutcliffe inherited when he took over in 2008. A few breaks here and there they might get six wins but I just don’t see it.

Phil: Nope. They’ll fall back a bit this year. We like Cutcliffe, but he’s only so much of a magician. Loss of Renfree will be hard to replace.

Jon: While there are easy parts of the schedule, I don’t think there will be a repeat of last season…

Virginia Cavaliers 2012 Record 4-8

Things To Like About The Cavaliers:
Nice Group Of Skill Players On Offense: The Cavaliers have a really good running back in Kevin Parks and a receiver three-some of Daruis Jennings, Dominique Jennings and Tim Smith.

What The Cavaliers Need To Improve On:
Who’s Going To Play Quarterback: It’s between David Watford and Greyson Lambert. Watford is the duel threat, Lambert is the classic drop-back passer. Each will bring a different dynamic.

Schedule Breakdown:
Virginia opens the season hosting BYU and then hosting Oregon, one hell of a way to open 2013. Ending the season with two of their last 3 games on the road won’t be fun.

And Now A Word From Coach London:
“David Watford went into spring and came out of spring listed as number one [quarterback]. David played as a true freshman, we redshirted him last year, and he had the opportunity to kind of soak and look and see what the maturation process occurs for players.”

“Greyson Lambert had the benefit of being a mid-year for us and is another talented young man. They are battling for that position. We will in early August camp be definitive as to who our starter will be.”

OSG’s Take:

Wilkie: Virginia is much better than a 4-8 team. If the Cavaliers get any kind of consistent play at quarterback then UVA should be playing in a bowl game.

Phil: Yup. Typical ACC team. Decent, not great. Not a threat to win a title but good enough to get to a bowl game. And the guess is, that will be exactly what they do.

Jon: I could see a bowl game here… Charlotte, maybe…

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