2013 Virginia opponents: by the numbers
Here’s a look at Virginia’s 2013 adversaries by the numbers:
3: Brigham Young finished third in total defense in 2012 to advance to a bowl game for a fourth consecutive season. Led by All-American and now senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the defense was the nation’s top-ranked unit on third down. On offense, Phil Steele Preseason All-American Cody Hoffman returns for his senior season as the NCAA active leader in career touchdown receptions. Hoffman will be catching passes from a new starting quarterback, Taysom Hill, who is a dual-threat option under center.
2012 Record: 8-5 Conference: Independent Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
50: Oregon averaged nearly 50 points per game last season, trailing only Louisiana Tech in scoring. The Ducks return 2012 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and Honorable Mention All-American quarterback Marcus Mariota, who threw for a touchdown in all 13 starts and finished the season with 32—one shy of matching the program record. Mariota and junior running back De’Anthony Thomas lead a dazzling offense that finished last season fifth in total offense and third in rushing offense.
2012 Record: 12-1 Conference: Pac-12 Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
2: Virginia Military Institute won just two games in 2012 for the second time in three years. The Keydets are just 13-42 in five seasons under coach Sparky Woods and have not had a winning season since 1981. The last time VMI faced Virginia, coach Mike London earned his most lopsided win as head coach in a 48-7 drubbing in Charlottesville.
2012 Record: 2-9 Conference: Big South Last Postseason Appearance: 1995
22: Pittsburgh has competed in the Big East for the past 22 seasons but will join Syracuse as new members of the ACC in 2013. In addition to adapting to life in a new conference, they must also cope with changes of their own. Redshirt senior Tom Savage, who has not played in a college football game since 2010 with Rutgers, will enter the season as the starting quarterback for a team picked to finish fifth in the Coastal by the Preseason ACC Media Poll.
2012 Record: 6-7 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
0: Ball State has faced Virginia zero times in its 79-year history. The Cardinals have gone 15-10 in two seasons under coach Bill Scholl, including a six-game winning streak to close the 2012 regular season. Senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who ranks second in Ball State program history in passing yards, will return for his final season while leading rusher junior Jahwan Edwards will be back in the backfield for the nation’s 28th ranked rushing attack.
2012 Record: 9-4 Conference: MAC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
1: Maryland will host Virginia for one last time as a member of the ACC before switching to the Big 10 for the 2014 season, ending a 50-year relationship with the conference. The Terrapins nightmare 2012 season turned comical when freshman linebacker Shawn Petty was forced into quarterback duty after a rash of injuries at the game’s most important position. Senior C.J. Brown will return from an ACL injury to start under center, but Maryland was picked to finish just fifth in the Atlantic in the ACC Kickoff Media Poll.
2012 Record: 4-8 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2010
17: Duke snapped a 17-year bowl drought in 2012, racing out to a 6-1 start before losing its final six games of the season. The Blue Devils owed their surprising success to a superb passing offense led by then-senior Sean Renfree, who was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. With his departure, junior Anthony Boone will take over at quarterback. In his lone start last season, he shredded Virginia for 212 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 42-17 Blue Devil victory.
2012 Record: 6-7 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
56: Georgia Tech scored 56 points against Virginia last season in a 36-point victory, the highest total by a Cavalier opponent in coach Mike London’s three-year tenure at the University. The Yellow Jackets vaunted triple-option offense kept opponents off balance all season as the team finished fourth in the country with 311.2 rushing yards per game. Georgia Tech began the season just 2-4, but rallied for a 5-3 conference record, an appearance in the ACC Championship Game and a 21-7 triumph against Southern California in the Sun Bowl.
2012 Record: 7-7 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
105: Clemson senior Tajh Boyd was selected as the ACC Kickoff Media preseason ACC Player of the Year in a landslide, receiving 105 of a possible 120 votes. The reigning ACC Player of the Year broke his own ACC record by throwing for 36 touchdowns in 2012 and is now the all-time program leader in passing touchdowns and passing efficiency. He leads a Tigers team that is the preseason favorite to capture a second ACC title in three years.
2012 Record: 11-2 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012
8: North Carolina ranked eighth in scoring offense last season and will return fifth-year senior Bryn Renner and star sophomore wide receiver Quinshad Davis to a team that averaged over 40 points last season. Electric running back Giovani Bernard left the school after his sophomore season and was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft, leaving a large void to fill in the Tar Heel backfield.
2012 Record: 8-4 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2011
3: Miami has lost to Virginia three consecutive times, most recently on tight end Jake McGee’s second game-winning catch of the season with just six seconds remaining in a 41-40 thriller. The Hurricanes have only been outscored in those three contests by a combined 13 points. With reigning ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year Duke Johnson and standout senior quarterback Stephen Morris returning, Miami was picked to win the Coastal Division in the ACC Kickoff Media poll but await word from the NCAA concerning further sanctions from an investigation into whether players received illegal benefits from boosters.
2012 Record: 7-5 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2010
9: Virginia Tech has beaten its Commonwealth rival for nine consecutive years. The Nov. 30 matchup will occur one day after the one-decade anniversary of the last time the Cavaliers beat the Hokies—a 35-21 victory in Charlottesville Nov. 29, 2003. Virginia Tech will field 2011 Second Team All-ACC senior Logan Thomas, who last year became the first Hokie quarterback to lead his team in rushing in nearly 50 years.
2012 Record: 7-6 Conference: ACC Last Bowl Appearance: 2012