Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Four Players to Watch - Virginia Cavaliers

Demon Deacon Digest looks at four Virginia players to watch Saturday when the Deacs host the Cavaliers at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Wake Forest (5-3, 2-2) hosts Virginia (2-6, 1-3) in what has become a huge game for the program.

With matchups at Louisville and Clemson on the immediate horizon, no Wake fan wants to be sitting at the doorstep of bowl eligibility in the final week of the season when Boston College comes to town.

Thus, the best shot to put that to bed is Saturday against UVA.

Here’s four UVA players to watch.

Taquan Mizzell - Senior running back - 5-foot-10, 195 pounds - #4

Mizzell is a versatile back who will be used in multiple ways by the Cav offense. He set an ACC record last season with 721 receiving yards out of the backfield.

He leads UVA with 103 carries this season, as part of a two-back combo with fellow senior Albert Reid, who has 79 carries. Other UVA running backs combine for just 16 attempts. Mizzell averages 65.9 rushing yards per game and has caught 36 passes for 255 yards this year.

Mizzell was a four-star recruit out of Bayside High School (VA), where he was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a senior.

Micah Kiser - Junior linebacker - 6-foot-2, 240 pounds - #53

Kiser leads UVA in tackles (91), sacks (5.5), TFLs (8.5), pass break-ups (6), forced fumbles (4) and fumbles recovered (2). He now has 13 sacks and 21.5 TFLs in his UVA career.

Kiser has played in every games as a Cav, starting all of his sophomore season. He earned All-ACC honors last season, and All-ACC second team by the coaches.

Kurt Benkert - Junior quarterback - 6-foot-4, 230 pounds - #6

Benkert has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, spreading the wealth among six targets who have gathered more than 100 receiving yards so far.

He transferred from East Carolina, where he played under then head coach Ruffin McNeil. McNeil is now the associate head coach under Bronco Mendenhall at UVA.

Benkert ia 183-for-314 passing on the year, and has 17 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

Quin Blanding - Junior safety - 6-foot-2, 215 pounds - #3

Blanding was named preseason All-ACC and is on several award watchlists.

He’s second on the team with 83 tackles and five pass breakups. He has two interceptions this season and six in his career.

Blanding was also a Bayside High School recruit, and was a five-star prospect rated as the top safety in the nation.

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