Talk about a team effort.
While running back Cedric Peerman no doubt led the ground game for the Cavaliers in their 24-17 win over No. 21 Georgia Tech, Virginia’s offense was able to strike quickly downfield again this week with a strong passing attack. One key to the passing game’s success? Quarterback Marc Verica effectively spread the ball across the field, reaching nine different receivers while totaling 270 passing yards, a new career-high. He has passed for more than 200 yards in four straight games.
Not only did Verica get all the playmakers involved, he successfully moved the ball vertically down the field, making several long conversions in unlikely scenarios, including fighting back from a 1st-and-20 situation. Seven of his nine receivers had a double-digit yardage reception, emphasizing the importance of big pass plays in this game.
With Kevin Ogletree often handicapped in double coverage (he still scored on a 14-yard reception and added to his now 20-game streak with at least 2 catches), the burden fell to Maurice Covington to take advantage of the strategy. Covington answered the call with five catches for 76 yards, none more spectacular than his 34-yard third quarter touchdown bomb from Verica.
After being slowed by an injured hand in 2007, Covington rebounded well and ended up with 21 catches for 262 yards in only 9 games as the Hoos’ top receiving option. Now fully recovered, Covington has emerged as a strong No. 2 receiver that complements Ogletree nicely, especially when Ogletree is in heavy coverage against teams like Georgia Tech. After Verica’s second-quarter interception to Ogletree, who was surrounded by three Jackets, the Virginia signal-caller looked to Covington, who had considerably...
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