augusta free press news

Offensive line play a concern for UVA

I’m not sure how you can look at the effort of the UVA offensive line on Saturday and think anything positive.

virginia uvaFirst, a look at the macro numbers: the ground game produced 92 yards on 32 carries, for 2.9 yards per, and quarterback Kurt Benkert was sacked three times, and while there were no other official QB hurries, he seemed to be rushed on several throws.

Next, a dive through the play-by-play: including the sacks, Virginia had nine plays with negative yardage. For comparison, the UVA defense produced three negative-yardage plays, including one sack.

Significant here is that offensive coordinator Robert Anae felt the need to call as many misdirection plays as he did – the pop passes that were effectively forward pitches, the flat screens that are no more than long handoffs – as opposed to running power plays to give his guys a chance to go hat-on-hat against a presumably smaller FCS D-line.

The Virginias can beat the William & Marys without a running game or basic effectiveness in pass protection, especially when the Virginias can get stout defensive play, like our particular Virginia got on Saturday from its D unit.

Next week the test gets tougher with Indiana from the Big 10 coming to town.

Story by Chris Graham