Hoo Preview ’08: By The Numbers

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Mikell Simpson took this run for a 96-yard touchdown in the Gator Bowl.

The Virginia football team opens its season Aug. 30 against Southern California at 3:30 p.m. Will the opener set Scott Stadium record, which lists a capacity of 61,500? Running back Mikell Simpson won’t count toward the attendance total, but the last time UVa fans saw him in action, he ripped off a 96-yard touchdown, a school record.

Kevin Ogletree had 52 receptions in 2006 and Maurice Covington posted 21 in 2007 to lead Cavalier receivers in those years. How many will the duo have against USC? The Sabre’s 10-Day Hoo Preview begins with a “By The Numbers” look at the Cavs.


The number of sacks allowed by left tackle Eugene Monroe in 2007.


The number of sophomore receiver Patch Duda, who moved over from quarterback in the spring. Other interesting names on the Hoos’ roster: No. 3 Riko Smalls , No. 10 Yannick Reyering, No. 19 Ras-I Dowling, No. 21 Johnny Pickett (sounds like a Hoosiers character to me), No. 22 Staton Jobe , No. 30 Robert Randolph (I’m a fan of the family band), No. 47 Curt Orshoski, No. 74 Patrick Slebonick , No. 77 Aaron Van Kuiken , No. 89 Colter Phillips, No. 89 Raymond Keys (he’s from Franklin County High School, my alma mater!), No. 90 Crutcher Reiss.


The number of consecutive Pac-10 titles won by Southern California, UVa’s opening opponent. The Trojans are favored to win a sixth straight championship this season.


The number of sacks by UVa’s Clint Sintim in 2007, which led the nation for linebackers.


The number of returning starters for the Hoos, five on each side of the ball.


The number of games Virginia lost in Florida before picking up its first-ever Sunshine State victory last season, a 48-0 romp against Miami in the Orange Bowl’s final game.


The number of field goals by Chris Gould last year. Gould had three game-winners and a school-record-tying 5 in a single game (at North Carolina). There isn’t a kicker on UVa’s roster that has made a single collegiate field goal with Gould’s departure.


The number of receptions by Maurice Covington in 2007, tops among the Hoos’ receivers.


The number of touchdowns scored by Virginia in 2007. Mikell Simpson led the way with 10.


The number of receptions by Mikell Simpson and the number of sacks by Virginia’s defense. Simpson’s 43 receptions ranked No. 9 in the nation and No. 2 in the ACC for receptions by a running back in 2007. UVa’s 43 sacks tied for sixth in the nation with BCS title game loser Ohio State.


The number of average yards posted by punter Ryan Weigand on his kicks in 2007. That number ranked No. 1 in the ACC and No. 4 in the nation, the highest final rank nationally by a UVa punter since 1976 when Russ Henderson also finish fourth. Weigand is the first Hoo to lead the ACC in punting since Ed Garno in 1991.


The number of wins by head coach Al Groh at Virginia.


The number of receptions by Kevin Ogletree in 2006, which is the ninth highest total ever in a single season at UVa. Ogletree, who sat out 2007 after knee surgery, finished the 2006 season with 52 catches, 582 yards, and 4 TDs.


The number of Vic Hall’s longest punt return in 2007. He averaged 10.0 yards per return.


The number of yards covered in Alvin Pearman’s punt return for touchdown in 2004, the last time a Cavalier returned a punt for a score. Of course, Hall had one called back after a penalty at Middle Tennessee last season.


The number of wins for Bob Pruett as Marshall’s head coach. Virginia’s new defensive coordinator posted a 94-23 record from 1996-2005 at Marshall.


The number of yards covered by Mikell Simpson on a Gator Bowl touchdown run last season. That run is the longest in school history and No. 2 in NCAA bowl history.


The number of average yards rushing posted by Cedric Peerman in 2007 before an injury at MTSU in game six sidelined him for the rest of the season. Peerman led the ACC in rushing at the time of his injury. He had three 100-yard rushing games, which tied for fourth in the ACC. Peerman finished with a career-high 585 yards rushing, which led the team for the season.


The number of rushing attempts by quarterback Jameel Sewell in 2007, the most on the team. Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson both had 113. While some of those rushes were undoubtedly on called passing plays, who will get Sewell’s carries in 2008?


The number in combined years of coaching experience on Virginia’s coaching staff.


The number considered to be a capacity crowd at Scott Stadium. The Top-10 home crowds in Virginia history, however, all outnumber capacity. The No. 10 game on the all-time list came on Nov. 17, 2001 when 61,625 people watched the Virginia Tech game. The top-ranked game ever came on Nov. 13, 2004 when Miami drew 63,701 fans. Will the USC contest on Aug. 30 set a new mark?

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