2016-17 Football Previews – (ACC) – Cavaliers
Looking for 2016 Virginia Cavaliers predictions? There are many out there who feel like Virginia could be a player in the ACC, if they could just find the right guy to get it going. I don’t know if that is really true and I always just played it off as people taking a look at what Virginia Tech has achieved over the last 25 years and wondering why Virginia can’t be just as good.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
2015/16 Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Bronco Mendenhall
Odds to win ACC: 75/1
Odds to win National Championship: 1000/1
Win Total: 4.5
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2016 Virginia Cavaliers Handicapping
It is somewhat of a valid point and the administration agrees having sacked Mike London after six seasons that included just one winning season and one bowl appearance – in year two with players recruited by others.
This season they are hoping that new coach Bronco Mendenhall can get the program pointed in the right direction.
I like the hire though I am not sure why Mendenhall left the BYU job for this one – I don’t see it as an upgrade.
He might get a bit of a free pass on this season as not much is expected. Just being respectable with a hint of optimism is probably enough to satisfy the masses in Charlottesville.
2016 Virginia Cavaliers Predictions – Team Strengths:
At BYU Mendenhall was known for his team’s physical nature and it will be interesting to see what he does with that mentality given that this team has a completely different makeup.
Their top offensive playmakers are RB Taquan Mizzell and WR Olamide Zacchaeus, jitterbug types who can hit home runs but might also drive the coach crazy with their dancing around.
What we see this year from Virginia may not be what we see long term.
The secondary should be the strength of the defense. Safety Quin Blanding is the best player on the team.
He was the second leading tackler in the ACC a year ago and first team ACC heading into the season.
The only other player to receive any kind of preseason recognition is punter Nicholas Conte, also first team. They might need him to be a difference maker at that position.
2016 Virginia Cavaliers Predictions – Team Weaknesses:
If you subscribe to the theory that games are won in the trenches than Virginia is in trouble. They have no starting defensive linemen returning and just two on the offensive line.
The ACC is a little lighter than say the SEC but if you have trouble up front on either side of the ball teams will eat you alive. Mendenhall is likely to be frustrated with both groups.
Normally it would be a boon for a new coach to have a senior, returning starter at quarterback but that might not be the case here.
QB Matt Johns led the nation with 17 interceptions a year ago and this year he could be running for his life. Behind him is Connor Brewer, who transferred from Arizona.
Even though the secondary has an elite player in Blanding, Virginia was 96th against the pass last season.
There is not a lot of experience anywhere else on the defense. And they might not have much of a pass rush either.
2016 Virginia Cavaliers Prediction:
The Cavaliers only won 4 games a year ago and the total is set at 4.5 so nobody is really expecting things to change much with Mendenhall now in charge.
I like Bronco as a coach but I think things are going to get worse before they get better and other than their opener against Richmond to start the season there may not be a win in the nonconference – even Central Michigan at home might be a loss.
Once they get into ACC play they avoid heavyweights Clemson and Florida State but it is not a good schedule.
They get the better teams at home but they are not close enough to the likes of Miami and North Carolina to take advantage and actually beat them.
Road games against lesser lights like Wake Forest may not be a gimme for this group either.
I will be surprised if they get to even three wins as this program bottoms out. Sorry Cavs fans, better days may be ahead.
2016 Virginia Cavaliers Football Schedule
- 9/3/16 3:30 PM ET RICH
- 9/10/16 10:30 PM ET @ORE
- 9/17/16 1:30 PM ET @CONN
- 9/24/16 TBD CMU
- 10/1/16 TBD @DUKE
- 10/15/16 TBD PITT
- 10/22/16 TBD UNC
- 10/29/16 TBD LOU
- 11/5/16 TBD @WAKE
- 11/12/16 TBD MIA
- 11/19/16 TBD @GT
- 11/26/16 TBD @VT
What do you think about our 2016 Virginia Cavaliers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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