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 0-2, (0-0) in the ACC
In the news
Severin recognized by ACC: Canaan Severin was named the ACC Receiver of the Week for Week 2 after his phenomenal performance against Notre Dame. Severin caught 11 passes for 153 yards, both career-highs. He currently leads the ACC in receptions and receiving yards and is the only ACC receiver currently averaging over 100 yards per game with 105.5.
Kicking it in Charlottesville: Virginia received a commitment from place kicker Holland Corbett on Sunday which should come as no surprise for those who have been following his recruitment.
Corbett grew up a UVa fan in central Virginia and was recruited for a walk-on spot with the Cavaliers. Now with Corbett receiving interest from other schools, Virginia elected to offer him a scholarship which he accepted. He currently is attending Fork Union Military Academy and will join the Cavaliers next season.
Ian Frye, the team's current kicker, is a senior leaving a clear opening for Corbett to start next season.
Fashion update: Virginia will wear throwback uniforms this Saturday modeled after the uniform worn by the team in 1968. They feature orange helmets with a blue V against a white background, blue jerseys and white pants with a blue and orange stripe on the side.
These are the same uniforms the team wore last season against Kent State.
Last week's game: 34-27 loss to Notre Dame
Virginia fans likely don't want to go back over what happened in this game, so here's the abbreviated version: the Cavaliers had a top 10 team on the ropes, Notre Dame lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire to a fractured ankle and backup quarterback DeShone Kizer somehow managed to lead the Irish to the game-winning touchdown with only 12 seconds remaining.
Sad Virginia fan dot gif pic.twitter.com/q4XDESARNE
— Mark (@NDirishWonder) September 12, 2015
It was a rough day in Charlottesville, but there were a lot of positives.
The offense looked better than in years as they were forced out of their one-dimensional run, run, run mentality. When asked Monday about using more creativity on offense, Mike London said, "We wanted to be able to be more productive on offense, not be predictable, do some things that not only could affect the way they were playing the run, but also the coverages."
The running game opened up after the Hoos established a pass attack. As mentioned above, Severin was fantastic and offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild was able to to get him open by lining him up at different places on the field.
A week after getting torched by Josh Rosen and UCLA, the Virginia defense really stepped up against Notre Dame who struggled to establish any sort of consistency. For the game, the Irish were 0 for 10 on third down conversions.
It was perhaps Virginia's best performance in the past three seasons and they still came up just short. The question now is whether they can build on what they did well against the Irish or if this loss will hang over their heads for the remainder of the season.
Next game vs. William & Mary, Sat. 3:30 p.m. ET
After playing two ranked teams to start the season, an FCS opponent should be a welcome relief for Virginia provided they come out Saturday ready to play.
William & Mary is not a pushover FCS program. They actually beat Virginia in 2009 in what would become Al Groh's final year as head coach in Charlottesville. Jimmye Laycock has been the head coach of W&M since 1980 and has led the Tribe to the playoffs (yes, the FCS has playoffs) nine times. He has 232 wins in his career at a school with very stringent academic standards. That's hard to do.
The Tribe runs a balanced offense led by junior quarterback Steve Cluley. Running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor is likely the team's biggest weapon. The senior running back ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the team's opening win against Lafayette.
William & Mary is not going to win a national title this year, but they are good enough to pick off a team like Virginia if the Cavaliers look past this game. The key question for Virginia is whether they will come out ready to erase the memory of last week's loss or if it still lingers in their minds.
One thing to watch for is if the offense regresses after last week's performance. Fairchild wants to run between the tackles over and over again. Last week, he smartly abandoned that because Virginia does not have the personnel to do that successfully against a team like Notre Dame. They can, however, against W&M and that's a terrible idea.
They may have lost to Notre Dame, but that game was a blueprint for how the Cavs can be successful with a balanced offense. Virginia is going to play a lot of teams that can stuff the run this season. They need to build on last week's success rather than regress into bad habits.
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