2005 Season: The Highs and Lows

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Unfortunately, the 2005 season may be remembered more for what happened off the field than on. Coaching changes, injuries, Al Groh’s media travails and multiple player suspensions almost overshadowed the games, many of which were disappointing anyway. Here’s my opinion on some of the highs and lows of the 2005 season, both on and off the field.

Biggest Surprise: Virginia did not get shafted in the bowl selection process.

Boston College, welcome to the ACC.

Most Improved: Deyon Williams

Deyon Williams

Yes, he still drops a pass here and there, but he’s also making big plays. Williams is second in the ACC in receptions per game (4.73) and fourth with 61.7 receiving yards per game. He’s not as consistent as the ‘Hoos need him to be, but he was a solid option for Marques Hagans and, under the tutelage of John Garrett, look for continued improvement.

Biggest Headhunter: Nate Lyles

At 6-0, 197, Lyles isn’t the biggest guy on the field, but he’s proven he’s one heck of an athlete, laying the wood to several opponents this season. To paraphrase Jim Croce, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t catch a pass in Nate Lyles ‘ zone.”

Overachiever: Chris Gould

He’s not been a great punter, but he hasn’t been the liability Virginia’s punters have been the last three seasons. If his development continues, he could be an asset next season.

Underachiever: Michael Johnson

Johnson is one among many. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Wali Lundy and Ahmad Brooks are some others, but at least they have injuries as an excuse. Johnson came to Virginia with so