Opponent Breakdown: Virginia

HornedFrogBlitz.com breaks down this week's opponent; Virginia.

Team: Virginia Cavaliers

Coach: Mike London (3rd year; 14-14)

2012 Record: 2-1

Last game: lost 56-20 vs. Georgia Tech

Kickoff: Saturday, September 22, 11:00am, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Ft. Worth, Texas

TV: ESPN

Radio: WBAP 820 AM, 96.7 FM, KTCU 88.7 FM


Offensive players to watch: QB Michael Rocco, Jr. (6-3, 225) OL Oday Aboushi, Fr. (5-10, 205) RB Perry Jones, Sr. (5-8, 195) WR Darius Jennings, So. (5-11, 170)
Offensive Statistical Leaders
Passing: Rocco; 61-of-95, 712 yards, 4 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Parks; 36 carries, 128 yards,
Receiving: Jennings; 13 receptions, 172 yards, 1 TD
Scoring: Drew Jarrett; 18 points

Defensive players to watch:
LB Steve Greer , Sr. (6-2, 230) FS Anthony Harris, So. (6-1, 185) LB Henry Coley, So. (6-2, 235) DE Jake Snyder, Jr. (6-4, 270)

Defensive Statistical Leaders
Tackles: Harris; 25,
Sacks: Greer; 2.0
TFL: Greer; 3.5
INT: None

HISTORY: This is the third meeting between TCU and Virginia. The Cavaliers won the first meeting in 1994 in the Independence Bowl, 20-10. TCU won the second meeting at Virginia, 30-14.
OUTLOOK: The Cavaliers are off to a 2-1 start in Mike London's third year as head coach. Virginia started the season with a win over Richmond and Penn State but lost big last week on the road to Georgia Tech's triple option attack, 56-20. Quarterback Michael Rocco leads an offense that averages 379 yards per game and relies heavily on the passing game. The Cavs are only averaging 104 yards on the ground through three games, including a season low of 32 yards against Penn State two weeks ago. Defensively, the Cavaliers rely heavily on senior linebacker Steve Greer who is on several defensive watch lists around the country, including the Bronko Nagurski award. Greer won the ACC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against Penn State.
Offensive overview: 2012 stats(conference and national ranks)

TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
Listed are Virginia's stats and where they rank nationally and in conference play.
Category
Stat
FBS Rank
ACC Rank
Total offense
379
79
7
Passing offense
274.3
33
5
Rushing offense
104.6
107
8
Passing Eff.
140.15
50
5
Scoring offense
26.6
75
7
Sacks allowed
1.67
52
7


Senior LT Oday Aboushi leads the Virginia OL
The Cavaliers have struggled offensively running the football, averaging just 104 yards per game that puts them near the bottom of the FBS rankings. Perry Jones, who has 27 career starts has rushed for only 81 yards on 27 carries. His backup Kevin Parks leads the team with 128 yards including a season-high 53 yards last week against Georgia Tech.

With the struggles in the running game, quarterback Michael Rocco has kept the Cavaliers offense moving through the air. Through three games Rocco is averaging 237 yards per game. Last week against Georgia Tech he had his worst game of the season throwing for only 143 yards with 2 interceptions.

Darius Jennings is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound speed burner at receiver and leads with team with 13 catches for 172 yards and 1 touchdown. Tim Smith is another reliable receiver. One thing Rocco does is get his tight ends involved and the player who is making the most of his opportunities is sophomore Jake McGee, who hauled in 4 catches for 99 yards and a score at Penn State.

The offensive line is big, very big, averaging 6-foot-6, 310-pounds per lineman. They're led by 6-foot-6, 310-pound senior left tackle Oday Aboushi, who has 28 career starts. He's also on the Outland Trophy Watch List which is given annually to the nation's top lineman. Junior Morgan Moses, a mammoth 6-foot-6, 325-pound junior, gives the Cavaliers one of the biggest tackle tandems in the country. Center Luke Bowanka, another 6-foot-6 specimen, has 16 career starts.


Defensive overview: 2012 stats(conference and national ranks)

TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
Listed are Virginia's stats and where they rank nationally and in conference play.
Category
Stat
FBS Rank
ACC Rank
Total defense
396.6
70
9
Passing defense
193.3
39
6
Rushing defense
203.3
101
10
Scoring defense
30.3
86
9
Sacks
1
99
10
TFL
3
116
11
Turnovers
-1.67
114
12


Senior LB Steve Greer is the leader on defense
The Cavaliers have had their bumps and bruises this year on defense, especially last week in their loss to Georgia Tech. Virginia surrendered a whopping 594 total yards to the Yellow Jackets, including 461 yards on the ground. Needless to say, there weren't many bright spots for the Virginia defense.

Among the bright spots is senior linebacker Steve Greer, a four-year starter. At 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, Greer gives the defense some size in the middle. In fact, all three starters at linebacker average 230-pounds. Greer is second on the team with 24 tackles and leads the team with 2 sacks. Last week he only had 5 tackles against the YellowJackets.

Just as the offensive line is big for the Cavaliers, so is their defensive line, averaging 6-foot-5, 275-pounds. They're led by junior Jake Snyder who has one sack on the year. Last week against Georgia Tech he was second on the team with 7 tackles. Brent Urban gives Virginia a tall inside defender at 6-foot-7, 280-pounds but he only has six tackles on the season.

The secondary for Virginia is young and inexperienced with the exception of Demetrious Nicholson, who started all 13 games as a true freshman in 2011. Nicholson ranks fifth on the team with 17 total tackles and leads the team with 4 pass breakups. Junior free safety Anthony Harris leads the team with 25 total tackles, which included last week's team high of 8 against Georgia Tech. Sophomore Drequan Hoskey gives the Cavaliers good size at corner standing 6-feet tall, but he only has three career starts. Junior Brandon Phelps starts at strong safety and also has only three career starts. A former cornerback, Phelps has 11 tackles on the season.


SPECIAL TEAMS:

The special teams for Virginia is strong through three games of the season. Junior Drew Jarrett has been money all season kicking 3-of-3 field goal attempts with a long of 46 yards. He's also converted 9-of-9 extra point attempts. Sophomore Alex Vozenilek is averaging 44.4 yards per punt and has punted five kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Khalek Shepard is dangerous in the return game, particularly on kickoff returns where he's averaging 37.8 yards on 6 returns. That includes a long of 72.


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