UVA Analysis: Perkins Heating Up

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Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech, Bronco Mendenhall
Justin Fuente is 4-0 against Bronco Mendenhall in his career. (Ivan Morozov)

There were three preseason truisms I’d bought into regarding UVA: 1) they’d be a defense-first team, 2) they had no one on offense except for quarterback Bryce Perkins, and 3) the wear of shouldering the team all season would have Perkins worn down by Thanksgiving. At least to my surprise, not one of these predictions have come true, or at least they aren’t true of UVA the past few weeks. The Hoos defense is still struggling with secondary injuries, while the run D has gotten gashed several times here at the end of the season. Three receivers have emerged as good threats to keep Perkins going. And as for Perkins himself, he’s healthier now than he was earlier in the year.

Offense

The offense is like Pitt’s in that it’s primarily a short-to-intermediate passing game, though it’s Air Raid-based, with many four- and five-wide sets. They’ve got the short game of the Air Raid down, with lots of completions on sticks, screens, and the like, but they don’t do the vertical stuff well. The run-game is reliant on QB Bryce Perkins’ (#3) legs. In fact, they’ve gone to more TE/HB combos to take advantage of Perkins’ running skills, with the passing game building off that with play-action and RPO calls. Watch for Counter plays with an HB and two-pullers going away from jet action. They also run the QB Zone play that Quincy Patterson ran so well against

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