No. 7 UCLA visits Scott Stadium Saturday
"The Skinny" on Virginia football's season-opener
What: No. 7 UCLA vs. UVA
Where: Scott Stadium
When: 12:00 p.m.
The 125th season of Virginia football kicks off Saturday against No. 7 UCLA, a Pac-12 powerhouse and the winner of the 2013 Hyundai Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech.
The Bruins, who last played in an ACC stadium in 1955, boast an offense which scored 36.9 points per game a year ago, when star quarterback Brett Hundley completed 66.8 percent of his passes and connected with his receivers for 24 touchdowns.
Now a redshirt junior, Hundley comes to Charlottesville as a legitimate dual-threat. As Virginia defensive line coach Jappy Oliver said, “We have to keep him in the pocket as much as possible.”
Stopping Hundley, though, is only half the battle. Sophomore quarterback Greyson Lambert, making the first start of his career, will direct the Cavalier offense against a Bruin defense which allowed just 23.2 points per game last year, the 35th-best number in the nation.
Senior running backs Kevin Parks and Khalek Shepherd and sophomore running back Taquan Mizzell will attempt to put pressure on a Bruin defense which was suspect against the run in 2013. UCLA allowed an average of 169.5 rushing yards per game last year — ranking 71st nationally in that category — and Virginia’s success on the ground could play a large factor in deciding Saturday’s contest.