Aug. 16, 2007
The Cavaliers practiced twice on Thursday, including a special teams practice in the evening.
One rule change this season on special teams can have a dramatic effect on the game. This season kickoffs are moving back five yards from the 35-yard line to the 30. "We think it can be a substantial change in field position," head coach Al Groh said. "(A) kickoff that was five yards deep in the past that was a touchback is now going to be on the goal line. That's a kick that is (now) going to get run back. Not only is the kick going to get run back, but the covering team is coming from five yards further away, so they've got a longer ways to go to get to the return man. We see it as having the potential to significantly alter field position on change of possession from what it's been in the past."
Kickoff return man Cedric Peerman has averaged more than 25 yards per return the last two seasons and stands to benefit from the extra five yards, while Chris Gould's kickoffs must sail five yards more to get a touchback. These competing factors create concerns for both phases.
"We're trying to do a real good job with our returns, and conversely that we're able to get the type of field position following kickoffs that we've been fortunate to get for quite a while because of the kickers," said Groh.
Last season Gould boomed 31 of 42 kickoffs into the end zone with 21 touchbacks. During training camp Groh has observed Gould's performance both in live situations and on tape to get a sense of where his kicks will be. "We're experimenting on a day-by-day basis and kick-by-kick basis when we're working on kickoff coverage to come up with out tactics," Groh said.
Covington, Woods Cited for Recent Practices
Junior wide receiver Maurice Covington is one player who may be looked to to pick up his game following the injury to Kevin Ogletree, last year's leading receiver. "For the third day in a row, Maurice has really played like a first-team player," Groh said. "When a player moving up to the top slot like he does starts to put together consecutive positive practices like that, it's a very encouraging sign that he is moving into that level of play."
Covington's high school teammate from Southern Durham HS, S Brandon Woods, has also made a bid for increased time in the secondary with this recent play. He had two interceptions in one practice last weekend and took another one back for a touchdown in Thursday morning's practice. "He's finding the ball and making some plays back there," said Groh. "We'd like to see that continue because for all his efforts in some respects, he was kind of stalled at a certain level for a while. If we're seeing those plays, we hope that's an indicator that (we can say) that he's having successive positive days which would show that he's really getting into a playing time position."
Order Your 2007 Fan-Shirt
The official 2007 Virginia football fan-shirt is now available exclusively at the online and the Cavalier Team Shop at the John Paul Jones Arena. The Virginia athletics department has partnered with Nike to produce this season's shirt. to order your shirt today!
Casey's Return Buoys CavaliersBaseball2/22/17Derek Casey, who missed the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, pitched five strong innings in No. 14 Virginia's home opener.Perrantes Searching for AnswersMen's Basketball2/21/17Senior point guard London Perrantes has made only 16 of 58 shots (27.6 percent) from the floor in his past four games, all Virginia losses.'Hoos Savor Latest ITA TitleMen's Tennis2/20/17In men's tennis, Virginia won its sixth ITA National Team Indoors Championship, defending Ohio State 4-1 at the Boar's Head Sports Club.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Virginia Adds Two More FBS Transfers to the Fold
Football | 2/21/2017
Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall has added two more FBS transfers to the program.
Jeff White: Cavalier Football Notebook
Football | 2/15/2017
Quarterback Kurt Benkert, who began his college career at East Carolina, learned valuable lessons...
Blanding to be Awarded the MacArthur Award
Football | 2/8/2017
Virginia free safety Quin Blanding will be honored with the General Douglas MacArthur Award for...
Three Cavaliers Earn All-ACC Academic Honors
Football | 2/8/2017
Three Virginia Cavaliers have been named to the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic...
Virginia Football's Signing Day Central
Football | 2/1/2017
Live updates today, including signee bios and highlight videos.
Jeff White: Cavaliers Restock at Running Back
Football | 2/1/2017
Virginia's 2017 recruits include running backs Lamont Atkins, PK Kier and Jamari Peacock. Atkins ...
Six Cavaliers Earn VaSID All-State Recognition
Football | 01/26/2017
Six Virginia football players were named to the 2016 Virginia Sports Information Directors...
Virginia Announces 2017 Football Schedule
Football | 01/24/2017
The Atlantic Coast Conference released the 2017 football schedules for its member institutions...
- Online Stores