UVa Vs. UConn Scouting Report: Special Teams

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Cedric Peerman , and even Ahmad Brooks have had success in that role at times.

With kickoffs moving back 5 yards in 2007, the Hoos’ return game logically seemed poised to get even better. At least in theory. In reality, UVa has struggled to get any consistent production in that category so far this season. With the exception of Andrew Pearman ‘s 67-yard return against Wyoming and a strong 32-yard return from Peerman against Pitt, the kickoff return game has been rather bland. The Cavs’ 20.1 yards per return average ranks 86th in the nation.

“We have been concerned about it for a while. We’re not getting the production from it that we have in the past,” UVa coach Al Groh said. “It used to be when we kicked the ball off, we had high expectations on every one [of them]. I mean when we received it, we had high expectations that we really had a chance to do something with it. We still have those hopes, but obviously we need to get this thing going.”

In other words, the kick return unit needs a swift kick – pun intended – in the pants. A boost if you will. The proverbial shot in the arm will have to come from someone other than Peerman, who is likely to miss Saturday’s game after injuring his foot at Middle Tennessee State last week. That means someone new will be in the mix. Exactly who that someone is remains a bit of a mystery, though Mikell Simpson did fill in as Peerman’s back-up at MTSU where he registered one 16-yard return. Simpson, Raynard Horne , Keith Payne , and Chris Dalton all figure to be candidates though Groh said “from [the coaches’] perspective, there are probably less candidates than the players think there are.”

Regardless of who draws the shortest straw, Connecticut may be the best medicine for the Hoos’

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