NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: Virginia Cavaliers

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Since Virginia football fell out of the national consciousness before last year, so people forget what a consistently great program this used to be under George Welsh. It took a few years for Al Groh to make the program in his own image, and now he has the makings of a powerhouse. This was an extremely young team last year playing several freshman and sophomores in key positions, but the team still won nine of its final 12 games pulling off wins over NC State and . Everything ended with a bang closing the season, and setting the tone for 2003, with a blowout win over in the Continental Tire Bowl. Now almost everyone returns and Cavalier fans can't contain their excitement. As great as things look for Virginia football, it needs to be remembered how close the team was to losing several games beating , Duke, and NC State each by less than a touchdown. If Virginia can play as well in tight games again and can be better away from Scott Stadium, all should be fine. However, the ACC is far stronger, the Cavs have a difficult road slate, and everyone's going to be gunning for them. Don't be surprised if they have a bit of struggle getting to nine wins again, but they should still be in the hunt for the ACC title with and coming to Charlottesville.

Team Information
Head coach: Al Groh
3rd year: 14-12
9th year overall: 35-45
Returning O Lettermen: 21
Returning D Lettermen: 16
Returning ST Lettermen: 4
Lettermen Lost: 15
Ten Best Players
1. QB , Sr.
2. DE , Jr.
3. LB Darryl Blackstock, Soph.
4. OG , Jr.
5. RB Wali Lundy, Soph.
6. LB , Fr.
7. TE , Soph.
8. CB , Sr.
9. OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Soph.
10. CB , Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/30
9/6 at So Carolina
9/13 at Western Mich
9/27
10/4 at No Carolina
10/11 at
10/18
10/25
11/1 at NC State
11/13 at
11/22
11/29
The Schedule: It's not going to be easy with the Cavaliers playing four of their first six games on the road. Even though and come to Charlottesville, NC State and are going to be looking for revenge at home. If they can hold serve at home, they'll be in the thick of things for the ACC title. Best Offensive Player: Senior QB . Nobody knew about Schaub last year at this time and his own team planned on using . This year, he's one of the top players in the country with a tremendously accurate arm. Best Defensive Player: Junior DE . The 6-7 junior has outstanding athleticism and should grow into one of the nation's best linemen. If he improves at getting into the backfield, he should approach All-America status. Key player to a successful season: Schaub will make everyone around him better, but life will be a lot easier if the receiving corps has a great season. With gone, it'll be up to to to be a top target. Don't forget that the Cavalier offense blew up against after McMullen got knocked out. The season will be a success if: Virginia wins the ACC title. The hope will be that and NC State will end up canceling each other out, so if the Cavs can beat one of them again and can win all of their home games, they should have a shot at the title. Key game: Nov. 1 at NC State. The Wolfpack will be pointing to this game after losing the ACC title in a 14-9 loss to the Cavaliers. If Virginia can win at least four of its first five ACC games, this could be the game for the title. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Second quarter scoring: Opponents 141 - 94
  • Rushing yards per game: Opponents 208.9 - 126.9
  • Penalties: Opponents 93 for 836 yards - 64 for 484
  • Fumbles: Opponents 35 (lost 22) - 30 (lost 14)
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Jordy Lipsey C 6-3 272 Longwood, Fla. (Lake Brantley)
    Regarded as the top center prospect in the nation ... graded at 93.5 percent for his career and had 143 pancake blocks, including more than 80 as a junior ... his brothers Jayson and Jess preceded him as standout players at Lake Brantley ... Jayson played football at & Lee and graduated in 2001, while Jess was a junior nose guard there this past season.

    Marshal Ausberry OL 6-6 318 Springfield, Va. (West Springfield)
    Allen Billyk DL 6-4 255 New Castle, Pa. (New Castle)
    *Philip Brown DB 5-11 190 Hampton, Va. (Phoebus)
    Emmanuel Byers WR/DB 5-9 175 High Point, N.C. (Ragsdale)
    Keenan Carter DL 6-3 325 Dumfries, Va. (Potomac Senior/Fork Military Acad.)
    Robbie Catterton S 6-2 185 Beach, Va. (Kellam)
    *Ian-Yates Cunningham OL 6-6 309 Plano, (Hebron)
    Jermaine Dias LB 6-3 223 Hackensack, N.J. (Hackensack)
    DL 6-6 265 Charlottesville, Va. (Charlottesville)
    Shannon Lane WR/DB 6-1 185 Beach, Va. (Salem)
    Kevin McCabe QB 6-3 192 Wexford, Pa. (Pine-Richland)
    Fontel Mines WR 6-5 205 Richmond, Va. (Hermitage)
    Eddie Pinigis OL 6-7 282 Forest, Va. (Jefferson Forest)
    Danny Prentice FB/LB 6-0 228 Oakton, Va. (Oakton)
    Vince Redd LB 6-6 243 Elizabethton, Tenn. (Elizabethton)
    Marvin Richardson LB 6-4 219 East Orange, N.J. (Bishop Francis)
    Gordie Sammis OL 6-4 292 Flemington, N.J. (Immaculata)
    *Jonathan Stupar TE 6-5 246 State College, Pa. (State College Area)
    James Terry RB/LB 6-2 215 Stafford, Va. (Woodbridge)
    Deyon Williams WR 6-3 185 Upper Marlboro, Md. (Suitland)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Troy, Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Washington, Texas

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