Virginia football will kickoff its season on Saturday against No. 13 UCLA. The Cavaliers will venture west to Pasadena for their opening game. Last season the Bruins traveled to Charlottesville, and were almost upset by the Cavs. Virginia's defense were able to hold the UCLA offense, however, turnovers lead to the 'Hoos demise, losing 28-20.
UVa head coach Mike London and his troop will hope to turn things around on the road, where the Cavs have not won a road game since 2012.
So what are the key matchups we will be watching?
Pressuring the Quarterback
UCLA will field a freshman quarterback in former five-star Josh Rosen. During his press conference, London said "it would be safe to assume" that the Cavaliers' would put a lot of pressure on the signal caller. This is one of the battles that UVa can exploit in its favor. Rosen is coming in to college football, and the Cavs love to blitz and put plenty of pressure on the man under center. Virginia will look to its guys up front including David Dean, Mike Moore, Andrew Brown and Trent Corney to get the job done.
Stopping the Run
A lot has been made about Rosen being given the start at quarterback, however, offensively the Bruins have a pretty big weapon in running back Paul Perkins. UVa will have its hands full with the big back especially with a very young linebacker group, where Zach Bradshaw is the only to have started a game for the Cavs.
On the flip side, UVa is trying to establish a power running team, but will also have to contend with a very strong Bruins middle that consists of tackles Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes and linebacker Myles Jack.
In the end the matchup the 'Hoos will need to exploit will be the pressure on Rose, however, it could be a long road ahead in stopping the run Bruin game or establishing one themselves.
Behind Enemy Lines : UCLA