UVA Football: Mendenhall still getting feel for O-line

uva footballThe two-deep at offensive line for UVA heading into its Week 2 matchup with William & Mary has the same 10 guys listed.

There is some movement, though, in where three of the guys will be lining up.

  • Ryan Nelson, last week’s starting left tackle, is listed at left guard for W&M.
  • Last week’s left guard, Chris Glaser, is moving over to right guard.
  • Ryan Swoboda, last week’s right tackle, is moving to left tackle.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall said at his Monday weekly presser that he’s looking for continuity from his O-line, but also that he’s looking to instill a bit of competition in his linemen.

“Competition is competition, and outcome is outcome. We’re in a performance-related business, so we’re trying to build young people and their skillset and a unit and build a team all at the same time,” Mendenhall said.

A key to the moves heading into this week is Nelson being used at guard.

“We’re looking for the most physical front we can put on the field, and we thought possibly Ryan at guard would give us a combination of players that would give us more physicality and a chance to get more movement from the line of scrimmage,” Mendenhall said.

UVA ran for 129 yards on 33 attempts in the 30-14 win at Pitt on Saturday night, but quarterback Bryce Perkins, who averaged 71.0 yards per game on the ground in 2018, had just 44 yards on 18 attempts, and was sacked three times, and Pitt recorded six quarterback hurries on the night.

Virginia averaged 173.2 yards per game in 2018, and Perkins was sacked and average of two times per game last season.

“To say going into game one or after Game 1 everything is fixed and set is not the way I like to do business,” Mendenhall said. “I like jobs to be open and competed for on a weekly basis, sometimes on a play-by-play basis. That’s where the offensive front is right now.”

Story by Chris Graham

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