By Jeff White
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A month ago, tailback might have been the deepest position on UVa’s football team. The Cavaliers are thinner there these days.
Dominique Wallace, who carried 11 times Saturday in a 37-34 loss at Southern Mississippi, suffered a season-ending injury in that game.
A bruising 6-0, 230-pound true freshman from Fredericksburg, Wallace has a foot sprain that will require surgery, UVa announced Monday afternoon.
Because he did not compete in more than 30 percent of Virginia’s 12 regular-season games, Wallace is eligible for a medical hardship waiver that would leave him with four seasons of eligibility.
Wallace appeared in all three games for UVa, carrying 14 times for 49 yards, with a long gain of 13 yards.
Also out for the season is reserve safety Matt Leemhuis, a junior who fractured his clavicle on a special-teams play Saturday. Leemhuis’ injury won’t require surgery, and he’s eligible for a hardship waiver, too.
The loss of Wallace comes about three weeks after another tailback, Keith Payne, quit the team.
Virginia’s options at tailback now include seniors Rashawn Jackson and Mikell Simpson, redshirt freshman Torrey Mack and true freshman Perry Jones.
After the Southern Miss game, before he knew the extent of Wallace’s injury, Al Groh praised the play of Wallace and Mack.
“I thought they both had some very encouraging plays,” Groh told reporters. “It looks like we’ve got two guys who can have a real good career in front of them.”
Also Monday, the ACC announced that UVa’s Oct. 3 game at North Carolina will start at noon. It will be televised by Raycom. The ‘Hoos have won three straight over the Tar Heels and six of the past seven games in the series.
Virginia is off this weekend.