Check back every Wednesday for the Cavaliers Report to get all the biggest Virginia headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.
Virginia 0-0, (0-0) in the ACC
In the news
Greyson Lambert named starting quarterback: ...at Georgia. The junior quarterback decided to transfer after Matt Johns was named Virginia's No. 1 quarterback for fall camp. Lambert is from Jesup, Ga. so his transfer to Georgia made sense even though few believed he had a legitimate shot of becoming the starter. He was beat out at UVa, how could he take over for an SEC power? Take over he did, however, as head coach Mark Richt declared him the starter on Monday.
This begs the question, did Mike London get this wrong or is Georgia's quarterback situation just that dire? Or perhaps is Matt Johns that good? Lambert came into last season as the starter, but Johns was called upon in the team's very first game and the two split time in the first half of the season. Lambert had a 59 percent completion percentage last season and threw for 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for another two touchdowns. Johns had similar numbers with a 54.9 completion percentage, nine total touchdowns and five interceptions.
If Johns does not pan out this season or if Lambert plays exceptionally well in Georgia, that could make for an uncomfortable situation for London, a coach who has come under a lot of fire in recent years.
UVa signee to attend Marshall: Mike London announced through a statement on Saturday that cornerback T.J. Griffin, a 2015 signee for UVa, was granted a release from his National Letter of Intent on Saturday and will attend Marshall. Griffin could not enroll at Virginia after he was denied admission to the school. The team wanted him to go to prep school so that he could enroll next year, but Griffin opted instead to head to Marshall where he will be immediately eligible.
Griffin played high school football at Ocean Lakes in Virginia Beach. He was considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and ranked as the 24th best player in the state.
A 1-5 finish to the season erased an impressive 4-2 start for the Cavaliers last season, as Virginia fell just one win shy of a bowl game. The task of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2011 will not get any easier this year.
At this point, you know the identity of this football team. It is a conservative offense that likes to pound the ball on the ground while defensively the focus is on blitzing and disrupting the quarterback as much as possible. Last season's roster was not among the best in the nation, but it was well suited for what London envisions his team to be.
Gone are running backs Kevin Parks and Khalek Shepherd, UVa's two leading rushers from last season. Defensively, the Cavaliers will also be without their three best pass rushers from last season Max Valles, Henry Coley and Eli Harold who combined for 23 of the team's 33 sacks.
That's not to say there's nothing to like. In many ways, Johns looked like the better quarterback last season. Virginia will certainly benefit from not having a quarterback controversy that lingers all season long, assuming of course Johns plays reasonably well. With the return of wide receiver Canaan Severin, the quarterback-receiver tandem could hook up for some big-time plays.
While the Cavaliers may be lacking on their pass rush, they still have the player who may as a sophomore already be the best defensive player on the team, safety Quin Blanding. Blanding was third in the ACC last season with 123 tackles and he could have a breakout season this year as the focal point of the Cavaliers' defense.
The biggest problem facing UVa this season is their schedule. They have a brutal non-conference schedule to start with that will see them play at UCLA, Notre Dame and Boise State. Virginia could very easily start the season at 1-3 in which case they would need five wins in ACC play to reach bowl eligibility.
The good news is that UVa always plays up to their competition. They upset both Louisville and Miami last season and lost close contests against UCLA and BYU. The bad news is that the Cavaliers also seem to play down to their competition. Even if they manage an upset and start the season 2-2, be careful before you pencil them into a bowl game.
Next game at No. 13 UCLA, Sat. 3:30 p.m. ET
UVa gave the Bruins a scare last season, but ultimately three turnovers that were returned for touchdowns gave UCLA a cushion the Cavaliers could not erase. This season, Virginia goes to the Rose Bowl to play a UCLA team that is even better, but with a major question mark at quarterback.
The Bruins will start true freshman Josh Rosen at quarterback on Saturday against a UVa defense that loves to blitz the quarterback. When asked in a press conference Monday if UVa would try to put a lot of pressure on a the freshman quarterback, London replied simply, "It would be safe to assume that."
UCLA also suffered a blow on defense as starting cornerback Ishmael Adams was arrested on Monday for allegedly taking the cell phone of an Uber driver by force. Head coach Jim Mora indefinitely suspended Adams on Tuesday.
Adams was named first team All-Pac-12 last season and was a major factor in UCLA's win over UVa with a pick-six. He is also the Bruins' kick and punt returner.
Even without Adams, however, UCLA still returns 16 starters from a team that won 10 games last season which is bad news for a UVa team that lost so many playmakers.
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