Football Travels to Duke Saturday
Virginia (1-2, 0-0 ACC) at Duke (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Game 4 Saturday, Sept. 27 Noon
Wallace Wade Stadium Durham, N.C.
Surface: Natural Grass
Series vs. Duke: Virginia leads 32-27
Last Meeting: 2007 (UVa 24, Duke 13)
Radio: Virginia Sports Network
Satellite Radio: XM Radio Ch. TBA
School Websites: VirginiaSports.com, GoDuke.com
ESPNU is televising the game.
Dave Armstrong (play-by-play) and Larry Coker (analyst) have the call.
Video Highlights from Al Groh’s Sept. 23 Press Conference
All Virginia games are broadcast on the Virginia Sports Network, originating at WINA/WWWV in Charlottesville.
Dave Koehn (play-by-play), Frank Quayle (analyst) and Tim Sherman (sidelines) have the call.
Time For Conference Opener
Virginia opens its conference schedule against Duke Saturday. It is a rare ACC opener on the road, as UVa played five of its last six ACC openers at home.
Historically the Cavaliers have struggled in their ACC opener, but they have picked things up of late. Virginia is just 21-33 in the first ACC game of the season, but has won its opener eight of the last 10 years.
The Series vs. the Blue Devils
The Cavaliers own a 32-27 all-time lead in the series that dates back to 1890.
Virginia has won the last eight meetings, its longest winning streak ever against the Blue Devils.
At one time Duke had a 12-game advantage in the series, but by winning 21 of the last 25 meetings since 1982, UVa has taken the series lead.
Duke is Virginia’s oldest opponent (1890) this season; North Carolina is the second oldest (1892).
This series, as well as the ones with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, are the only ACC series of .500 or better for UVa.
Duke’s last win in the series occurred in Charlottesville in 1999 (24-17 in OT).
Things You Need to Know
Virginia has won eight straight and 17 of 19 against Duke; the Cavaliers have not lost in Durham since 1994.
The Cavaliers have won their ACC opener in eight of the last 10 seasons.
Virginia has outscored Duke 580-204 in the last 18 games (avg. 32.2 to 11.3).
Virginia’s four non-conference opponents are 7-1 this season, with the lone loss coming by Richmond against UVa. All four are either ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.
Virginia has had 13 players make their first career starts in the first three games this season.
Off to Quick Start
Another characteristic of Virginia’s recent success vs. Duke has been the Cavaliers’ ability to score early in the game. Virginia scored on its first drive of the game eight times in the last 18 meetings (1990, 92, 93, 94, 02, 03, 06, 07).
Offense Excels vs. Blue Devils
The Cavaliers have put on some impressive offensive performances against Duke in the recent past.
Virginia has scored at least 30 points in 15 of the last 25 meetings against the Blue Devils and topped 40 points five times.
The Cavaliers have outscored Duke 580-204 in the last 18 games.
Since 1983, Virginia is averaging 31.7 points and 420.8 yards of total offense per game.
Virginia outgained Duke 133-84 on the ground last season, the 18th time in the last 19 meetings the Cavaliers have outgained the Blue Devils.
Containing the Duke Rushing Attack
Virginia has done an outstanding job of stopping Duke’s rushing attack while winning 16 of the last 18 meetings.
The Blue Devils have rushed for more than 105 yards just six times since 1990.
In the last 23 games Duke has rushed for 100+ yards only 11 times.
Since 1990 Duke has averaged 91.1 rushing yards per game and 2.6 yards per carry against UVa.
Duke has had just four carries of more than 20 yards and 18 of more than 13 in the last 18 games.
Duke has not rushed for more than 200 yards against Virginia since 1983 when the Blue Devils gained 238 yards in a 38-30 UVa win.
Virginia has out-rushed Duke in 26 of the last 29 meetings, including each time from 1983-1999. (Duke had the ground advantage in 1982, 2000 and 02).
Not Much Through Air Either
The Blue Devils have had a rough time through the air recently against UVa.
They have passed for 2,015 yards in the last 12 games combined (average of 167.9 ypg).
Duke has thrown 18 interceptions vs. just seven touchdowns in that span.
2007: Virginia 24, Duke 13
Cedric Peerman ran for 137 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Tom Santi also caught two touchdowns in UVa’s win last season in Charlottesville.
Virginia posted its 600th win in school history.
UVa QB Peter Lalich came in twice to spell starter Jameel Sewell. With Virginia leading 17-13 after three quarters, Lalich led an 82-yard drive, completing 8 of 10 passes and finishing with a 4-yard TD pass to Santi to give UVa a 24-13 lead.
Lalich finished 13-of-18 for 131 yards and a touchdown; Sewell was 9-of-14 for 60 yards and a score.
Coming Out of the Bye Week
Under head coach Al Groh, the Cavaliers have put extra preparation time to good use, going 9-3 after a bye week.
UVa is 2-2 on the road following a bye week under Groh.
Several of the post-bye week wins under Groh have been close, featuring games won by two, three (two), and six points.
UVa Has Played Most Games of Any ACC School
Virginia has played more football games than any other Atlantic Coast Conference school.
Through the Connecticut game, the Cavaliers have played 1,183 games in this, the 119th season of UVa football.
During that time, Virginia has compiled a 609-526-48 record, a winning percentage of .535.
North Carolina ranks next among ACC schools with 1,162 games played in 118 seasons. UVa is ranked sixth among all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams in games played and 13th overall among all Division I teams.
Penn (1,283) has played the most games overall.
Wahoos Win on the Road When Scoring First
After going 2-9 on the road in 2006 and 2007, Virginia was 4-2 last season.
Since 1987, UVa has played 112 games at opponents’ stadiums, winning 55.
One of the keys in the 55 wins is UVa’s ability to score first. The Wahoos are 40-15-1 (.723) in that span when they score first.
Virginia has scored first in six of its last nine road wins dating back to 2004.
Virginia Averages Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game Since 01
Virginia has been the ACC’s least-penalized team during Al Groh’s eight years as head coach.
UVa has averaged just 45.3 penalty yards per game since 2001, although it is averaging 58.3 penalty yards through the first three games this year.
Since 2001, Duke has the ACC’s second-fewest penalty yards per game with 48.3.
Hold Opponents To Fewer Than 100 Rushing And Win
Since 2004, Virginia has held 19 opponents to 100 rushing yards or fewer, including Richmond (19 yards) Sept. 6.
Virginia is 17-2 in those games. The lone losses were to NC State and Texas Tech last season.
Four NC Natives Dot UVa Roster
Virginia has four players who hail from North Carolina, including two Durham natives, S Brandon Woods and WR Maurice Covington, who each went to Southern Durham High School.
Chris Hinkebein (Providence) and Rico Bell (Vance) each are from Charlotte.
Road Trip a First for 15 Cavaliers
Fifteen Cavaliers made their first regular season road trip at Connecticut:
Senior Yannick Reyering and sophomore Marc Verica
Redshirt freshmen Landon Bradley, Kris Burd, Anthony Mihota, Lamar Milstead, Chase Minnifield and Zane Parr
True freshmen Steve Greer, Jimmy Howell, Cam Johnson, Rodney McLeod, Austin Pasztor, Robert Randolph and Ausar Walcott.
Johnson Becomes Third Rookie To See Action
True freshman LB Cam Johnson made the first appearance of his career late in the third quarter vs. UConn to become the third true freshman to play this season for Virginia.
P Jimmy Howell and OL Austin Pasztor made their Virginia debuts against Southern California.
Pasztor appeared on the kick-scoring unit.
Howell averaged 38.2 yards on eight punts and had a long punt of 49 yards.
Thirteen Cavaliers Earn First Career Starts
Thirteen Cavaliers have made the first start of their careers this season seven on offense and six on defense.
QB Marc Verica was the latest to earn his first start, doing so at UConn.
TE Joe Torchia and LB Denzel Burrell each made the first start of their careers vs. Richmond.
Cavaliers Second Youngest Team in ACC
Virginia has 72 freshmen or sophomores on its roster. The Cavaliers and Virginia Tech rank second to Georgia Tech for the youngest team in the ACC.
Georgia Tech has 75 players that are either freshmen or sophomores.
North Carolina (68), Duke (66) and Boston College (64) rank fourth through sixth, respectively.
More On The Youth Movement
Virginia has just 16 seniors on its roster.
That total is among the fewest in the country only 17 programs have fewer seniors on their rosters.
Central Michigan and Toledo each have just 10 seniors on their rosters.
Tough Slate Out of Conference
UVa’s first three opponents (USC, Richmond, UConn) are a combined 9-1 this year after earning 31 victories a year ago.
USC is currently ranked No. 1 nationally, while Richmond is the FCS No. 1 squad.
East Carolina is No. 23 (Associated Press), and UConn is receiving votes in both polls.
UVa’s four non-conference opponents this year are 12-2 thus far.
Overall Schedule Also Strong
UVa’s opponents combined to go 91-64 (.587) last year.
UVa’s opponents’ 2007 winning percentage ranks 19th nationally.
Eight of the 12 opponents had .500-plus records and played in bowls in 2007.
UVa’s schedule was ranked 10th toughest in the country recently by ESPN.com.
Nearly Half of Starting Lineup Makes First Career Start vs. USC
Ten Cavaliers made the first start of their careers vs. Southern California.
On Offense: RG B.J. Cabbell, WR Dontrelle Inman, WR Cary Koch, QB Peter Lalich, C Jack Shields.
On Defense: LB Aaron Clark, DE Matt Conrath, DE Alex Field, CB Chase Minnifield, S Brandon Woods.
For Conrath and Minnifield, it was the first appearance of their careers.
In addition to Conrath, Howell, Minnifield and Pasztor, 11 other Cavaliers made the first appearance of their careers vs. USC.
On Offense: WR Kris Burd, TE Andrew Devlin, WR Jared Green, C Anthony Mihota, QB Marc Verica.
On Defense: DL John-Kevin Dolce, NT Nick Jenkins, CB Dom Joseph, S Corey Mosley, DE Zane Parr.
On Special Teams: PK Yannick Reyering.
More White-Knucklers in Store?
Virginia won five games by two points or fewer last year, becoming the first team in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to win five games by one or two points in a season.
The 1971 Columbia team held the previous record with four wins by one or two points.
Six of the Cavaliers’ nine wins last year were by six points or fewer.
UVa’s six wins by six points or fewer were most in the nation (Memphis, New Mexico four).
It was only the third time in ACC history a team has won six games by six points or fewer during the regular season (North Carolina, 1976; Maryland, 2006).
Lots of New Faces
UVa features just 10 returning starters five on each side of the ball.
It marks the fewest returning starters since 1986 (nine).
Only seven schools have fewer returning starters (Air Force, Army, Hawaii have fewest with eight).
Cavaliers also is breaking in a new placekicker and punter this year, but returning long snapper Danny Aiken and holder Vic Hall.
Who’s Back By the Numbers
Thirty lettermen return, the program’s fewest since 1986 (29).
UVa lost 42 percent (10 of 24) of its offensive lettermen.
Cavaliers also lost 43 percent (11 of 26) of their defensive lettermen.
Captains Have Virginia Flavor
All four UVa captains hail from Virginia.
TE John Phillips (Warm Springs), TB Cedric Peerman (Gladys), OLB Clint Sintim (Woodbridge) and CB Vic Hall (Gretna) will serve as 2008 captains.
Phillips started eight games last season (17 rec., 193 yards, 2 TD).
Peerman missed the second half of the season because of foot injury; was the ACC’s leading rusher at the time.
Sintim was the team’s third-leading tackler and had nine sacks to lead linebackers nationally.
Hall, a junior, started all 13 games in 2007 and made 58 tackles.
Three Compete as Grad Students
Three Cavaliers have already received their undergraduate degrees and will participate as graduate students this season.
The list of grad students and their undergraduate degrees includes: QB Scott Deke (economics), S Byron Glaspy (economics) and TB Cedric Peerman (sociology).
UVa has had 107 players play as grad students in the past 19 seasons.
Howell Third Nationally Among True Freshman Punters
Jimmy Howell ranks third nationally in punt average among true freshman (seventh nationally among all freshmen).
He is averaging 39.22 yards per punt.
Howell has not allowed any return yards in his last seven punts (six fair catches).
FBS True Freshman Punting Leaders
|Matt Rinehart, Kent State||40.55|
|Brian Stahovich, San Diego State||39.86|
|Jimmy Howell, Virginia
|Kase Whitehead, Marshall||38.70|
Ogletree Continues Streak of Multiple Receptions
Kevin Ogletree had a team-high seven receptions for 58 yards in the last game against Connecticut.
Ogletree has at least two receptions in 14 straight games, dating to the start of 2006.
He leads the team with 19 receptions for 182 yards (60.7 yards per game).
Virginia Tied for ACC Lead in Fewest Sacks Allowed
Virginia’s young offensive line has done its job in pass protection, allowing just four sacks in three games.
The Cavaliers are tied with Boston College for the fewest sacks allowed in the ACC.
Cavalier Wide Receivers Emerge
Virginia wide receivers have combined for 393 yards receiving through three games just less than half of the wide receiver total from all of 2007.
UVa wide receivers had 833 receiving yards in 13 games last season.
UVa WRs have 40 receptions this year after catching 72 balls all of last year.
Verica Starts Strong vs. UConn
Virginia quarterback Marc Verica made the first start of his career against UConn. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 158 yards and one interception.
His 22 completions were third most in school history in a first start. Mike Groh holds the record with 26 completions in his first start against Navy in 1994 and Aaron Brooks is second with 25 completions against Auburn in 1997.
Verica’s 158 yards passing were the most by a UVa QB in a first start since David Rivers threw for 228 yards against Georgia Tech in 1999 in the only start of his UVa career.
Tight End U
UVa can easily be called “Tight End U” under head coach Al Groh.
UVa TEs have caught 420 passes for 4,745 yards and 37 TDs since 2001, by far the best figures in the ACC in that span (nearly double).
Senior John Phillips ranks third among returning ACC TEs (17 rec., 193 yards, 2 TD) and ranks second on the team in receiving yards this year.
Monroe On Top of Kiper’s Big Board
Senior T Eugene Monroe currently is No. 1 on ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s 2009 Big Board for NFL Draft prospects
He also has been named to the Outland and Lombardi trophy watch lists.
He started 11 games at left tackle last season and did not allow a sack all season.
He received honorable mention All-ACC recognition last season and has been named to several preseason All-ACC squads.