Watch Out for Pearman

The extra time provided by the bye week could help Virginia get its wide receiving corps back into shape.

The Cavaliers (4-0, 1-0 ACC) were caught so thin because of injuries that coach Al Groh was forced to play backup TB Alvin Pearman at wideout in the victory over Syracuse. Pearman responded with five catches for 71 yards, giving him six receptions and 83 yards receiving for the season.

"What he did today speaks volumes about the purposefulness and personality of the team," Groh said afterward.

Ideally, however, Pearman would be better off sticking to his backup role in the backfield and returning kicks. That could be the case if WR Deyon Williams, who missed the Syracuse game with a hamstring injury, is able to return for Thursday's home game against Clemson.

Sophomore WR Fontel Mines (shoulder), however, is still out.

No matter who is doing the catching, there is no questioning the performance turned in so far this season by QB Marques Hagans. The junior, who played mostly wide receiver the last two seasons while Matt Schaub was the quarterback, ranks among the national leaders in passing efficiency. His 182.9 rating is fourth in the country behind Purdue's Kyle Orton, California's Aaron Rodgers and Toledo's Bruce Gradkowski.

Hagans has completed 54 of 71 passes, a 76.1 percentage that ranks as the best among Division I-A starters. He has thrown only one interception against four touchdown passes.

The Cavaliers also look strong rushing the football, leading the ACC in total offense (500.5 yards per game) and ranking sixth nationally in rushing (284). Their 45.5 points per game ranks fourth in Division I-A.

The Thursday night game against the Tigers is the last in the Cavaliers' four-game homestand. They are back on the road Oct. 16 for what is shaping up as a key ACC match up at Florida State. Top Stories