2013 Forecast: Clemson returns to Virginia for first trip since 2008

Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses (AP Photo)

Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses (AP Photo)

Breaking down the Cavaliers…

Virginia Quick Profile

Plays Clemson: at Scott Stadium, Nov. 2.

2012 Record: 4-8 (2-6, last in the Coastal).

Coach: Mike London (16-21 career record, 8-16 against ACC, [0-0 vs. Clemson], 4th year at Virginia).

Offense (2012 ranks): Pro-style (Total offense: 62nd/Rush offense: 96th/Pass offense: 37th).

Defense (2012 ranks): 4-3 (Total defense: 28th/Rush defense: 44th/Pass defense: 33rd).

2012 Special Team Ranks: Net punting – 69th/Kickoff returns – 73rd/Punt returns – 111th/Punt return yardage defense – 81st/Kick return yardage defense – 119th.

2012 Misc. stats: Turnover margin – 110th/Fewest penalties – 92nd/First downs – 90th/First downs allowed – 29th/Third down efficiency – 86th/Red zone efficiency – 70th/Red zone defense – 75th/Time of possession – 26th.

Depth Chart Breakdown – Returning starters (ACC pos. ranking)

QB – 0 (6): 1. David Watford (6-1 200, soph.) 2. Greyson Lambert (6-5 215, redshirt fr.).

RB – 1 (11): 1. Kevin Parks (5-8 200, junior; 160 carries-734 yards-5 TDs-4.6 YPC) 2. Taquan Mizzell (5-10 185, frosh) 3. Khalek Shepherd (5-8 185, junior; 19-122-1).

WR – 3/3 (6): 1. Dominique Terrell (5-11 170, junior; 38 catches-475 yards-12.5 YPR); 1. Tim Smith (6-0 190, senior; 20-405-4 TDs-20.2); 1. Darius Jennings (5-11 170, junior; 48-568-5-11.8).

TE – 1 (3): 1. Jake McGee (6-5 235, junior; 28-374-5-13.4) 2. Zachary Swanson (8-88-1-11.0).

OL – 4/5 (6): LT Morgan Moses (6-6 325, senior, 31 career starts); LG Luke Bowanko (6-6 295, senior, 25 career starts); C Jackson Matteo (6-5 290, redshirt fr.); RG Sean Cascarano (6-6 280, 12 career starts)/Conner Davis (6-5 300, junior, 11 career starts); RT Jay Whitmire (6-6 295, soph., one career start).

DL – 2/4 (11): DE Jake Snyder (6-4 270, senior; 44 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 5.5 TFL); DT David Dean (6-1 280, soph.; DT Brent Urban (6-7 280, senior; 20 tackles, 2 sacks); DE Eli Harold (6-4 225, soph.; 36 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 TFL).

LB – 1/3 (11): SLB Demeitre Brim (6-2 250, soph.; 8 tackles); MLB Kwontie Moore (6-2 250, soph.)/Henry Coley (6-2 235, junior; 40 tackles, 4.5 TFL); WLB Daquan Romero (6-1 230, junior; 44 tackles, 3.5 TFL).

DB – 4/4 (4): CB Demetrious Nicholson (5-11 170, junior; 56 tackles); SS Anthony Harris (6-1 185, junior; 87 tackles, 4 passes defended); FS Brandon Phelps (6-0 175, junior; 48 tackles); CB DreQuan Hoskey (6-0 175, junior; 36 tackles, 5 passes defended)/Maurice Canady (6-2 180, soph.; 28 tackles).

K – 0/1 (14*): K Ian Frye (Soph.; 3-5, 0-1 from 40+, long of 30).

P – 1/1 (14*): P Alex Vozenilek (Junior; 40.6 YPP, 22 inside the 20).

Average ACC position rating: 8 (8th).

*Overall special teams rating.

Virginia Identity

1. Coaching reboot – Both coordinators and a smattering of position coaches were swapped out on Mike London’s staff going into his fourth season in Charlottesville. Those moves included bringing in former N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien as an associate offensive coach alongside offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, who coached with the San Diego Chargers most recently. That pro-style influence will be more in the offense (but it’s not like they were running the spread before). Also from N.C. State, Jon Tenuta takes over on defense.

2. QB carousel – So, Virginia had three quarterbacks with experience going into the start of the ’12 season and two played. Come the offseason, one of the two transferred (Michael Rocco)…then the other was declared academically ineligible this spring (Phillip Sims). That leaves sophomore David Watford, who played as a true freshman and redshirted last season – and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert, who was rated a top-10 QB in the 2012 class by Scout. Whoever wins the QB battle has an experienced RB (Kevin Parks – third-active ACC leader in rushing yards per game), returners at three receiver spots and tight end and 4-of-5 starters back on the o-line.

3. Defense growing up – Virginia’s secondary brings back starters who were all underclassmen last season and now are juniors, while underclassmen are expected to man multiple spots in the d-line and linebacker corps. The Cavaliers’ D has improved each season in total defense under London (78th to 40th to 28th), but they still gave up almost 29 points per game last season (28.9 PPG).

Odds & Trends: This will mark Clemson’s first matchup with a Mike London-coached Virginia team. The Tigers swept the last two-game series in 2008 (13-3 in Charlottesville) and 2009 (34-21 in Clemson). Under London, Virginia is just 4-7 in home conference games and 2-6 as a home underdog overall. Clemson outscored its final three road opponents by 26 points per game last season. The Tigers have won five of their last six road games against Coastal opponents outside of their cross-division rival.

2013 Schedule: 9/2 BYU; 9/7 Oregon; 9/14 BYE; 9/21 VMI; 9/28 BYE; Oct. 5 @Pittsburgh; Oct. 12 @Maryland; Oct. 19 Duke; Oct. 26 Georgia Tech; Nov. 2 Clemson; Nov. 9 @UNC; Nov. 16 BYE; Nov. 23 Miami; Nov. 30 Virginia Tech.

2012 Results: Richmond – W 43-19; Penn State – W 17-16; @Georgia Tech – L 56-20; @TCU – L 27-7; Louisiana Tech – L 44-38; @Duke – L 42-17; Maryland – L 27-20; Wake Forest – L 16-10; @N.C. State – W 33-6; Miami – W 41-40; UNC – L 37-13; @Virginia Tech – L 17-14.

For the latest in the series, check out our Scouting Report page.

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Comments » 2

rsb8931#286014 writes:

It's quite possible that if we got to play them every year like the old days we could win another 25 in a row or whatever it was. They never beat us for a long time. I don't remember exactly how many we won in a row, but it was quite a few. They are a bad football team and if they come within 35 points of us they had a good day. How's that for over confidence?

Mebbeimamazed writes:

Wasn't it Frank Howard, when asked about the Cavs; said, "....white meat!"

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