Mendenhall expects challenge from W&M offensive attack

William & MaryA new-look William & Mary offense ran for 255 yards in a season-opening 30-17 win over Lafayette last week.

The key player was true freshman quarterback Hollis Mathis, who ran for 127 yards as part of a two-QB rotation used by first-year Tribe coach Mike London – yes, that Mike London.

Mathis and senior Kilton Anderson subbed sometimes play-by-play as W&M rallied from a 10-6 halftime deficit, giving the UVA staff a number of different looks and units to have to prepare for heading into the short week.

“William & Mary does a really nice job. They’re very unique offensively and much like — I think you could say it’s not triple option, but their approach is unique and diverse enough to where the chance to be prepared in one week is difficult,” UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall said at his Monday weekly presser.

Mathis took the bulk of the snaps, running the ball 16 times and throwing 13 passes, completing six of his pass attempts for 66 yards.

Anderson was 4-of-8 passing for 100 yards.

“They have a dynamic player at quarterback, actually two quarterbacks that I think are very good players. So, the challenge is in a short week to adjust to their style of play, but that player in particular at that position,” Mendenhall said.

Virginia was stout defensively in its 30-14 season-opening win at Pitt on Saturday night, limiting the Panthers to 263 total yards, and just 78 yards on 30 attempts on the ground.

But Pitt ran its sets out of more traditional pro-style looks with some spread looks mixed in.

William & Mary will give the UVA D a much more varied set of looks offensively on Friday night.

Mendenhall knows that it will be a test for his defensive unit.

“I think it’s just the beginning and too early to tell whether we’re on the exact right track. The nature of runs, the quality and quantity of runs, too early to say how much difference and if we’ve made significant gains there,” Mendenhall said.

“Our opponent this week runs the ball as a primary focus, and so we’ll have a better idea after this week. Not a perfect idea, but a better idea. Yeah, too early to say where any of the significant changes have happened, other than mindset and expectation. That’s what I’ve noticed most.”

Story by Chris Graham


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