Penn State at Virginia
September 8, 2012
University of Virginia
Head Coach: Mike London (12-13 career)
2011 Record: 8-5
2012 Record: 1-0
Returning 12 starters; 7 on offense, 5 on defense.
QB #16 Michael Rocco: Rocco threw for 2,671 yards last year with a 60% completion rate but just 13 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. Tossed for 301 yards and a touchdown against Richmond in week 1.
RB #33 Perry Jones: Jones is UVA’s leading returning rusher with 960 yards last season and opened the season with 52 yards and a touchdown, though averaging only 3.7 yards against Richmond.
WR #20 Tim Smith: Smith was a big play guy in 2011, averaging 17.1 yards per catch. In week one, he led the team with six catches for 96 yards.
MLB #53 Steve Greer: Led the team in tackles in 2011 with 103 and is flanked by experience with Laroy Reynolds and his 88 returning tackles at WLB. The two combined for tackles against Richmond, in limited action.
Head coach Mike London is in the process of turning Virginia around. They run a pro-style offense and have all the weapons to strike in the air or on the ground at any time. Second-year starter Michael Rocco looks to improve his TD:Int ratio from 2011 and is helped by the return of the team’s leading rusher, as well as the two of the top three leading receivers from a year ago.
In Virginia’s opening game against Richmond, they used four running backs to combine for 187 yards and 4 touchdowns. They also had eight players with at least two receptions. Some of that was from getting players experience in garbage time, but UVA will spread the ball around.
Virginia started four sophomores in their secondary against Richmond, and the Spiders QBs combined for 238 yards passing and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.
The strength of Virginia’s defense is their linebackers/front seven. They start five seniors in their front seven, including 191 total 2011 tackles from linebackers Steve Greer and LaRoy Reynolds.
- Mike London is a graduate of Richmond University and coached there for two seasons before taking over at UVA. His new team beat the old one, 43-19 on Saturday.
- Virginia’s last coach, Al Groh, was also hired away from Richmond.
- Virginia featured no fewer than 7 freshmen on their week one two-deep depth chart.
- Virginia had the 20th ranked recruiting class last year and the 18th ranked class in 2011, per 247Sports.
- UVA is 2-5 against PSU, last losing in 2002, 35-14. PSU held UVA to 30 yards rushing in that game.
- Mike London was one of the coaches rumored to be replacing Joe Paterno back in December, before the hiring of Bill O’Brien.
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