Running back production. UVa’s improved offensive play has grown exponentially with an increase in touches for Virginia’s running backs. In the first three games, the backs collected 57 touches (40 runs, 17 catches) for 261 yards. That’s 19 touches per game and 4.5 yards per touch. In the last three outings, the backs have accumulated 107 touches (84 runs, 23 receptions) and netted 659 yards (219 yards per game). That’s a three-week average of 35.6 touches per game (47% increase) and a 6.15 per touch average (27% increase).
Red zone offense. With a little more than two minutes left in the first quarter Saturday, the Virginia offense found itself with a 1st-and-goal on the 1-yard line. A QB keeper to the, you guessed it, right side, was stuffed for no gain. A false start penalty pushed the Hoos back five yards and an 8-yard sack on second down made 3rd-and-goal from the 13 unmanageable. Virginia ended up with a field goal after a 1st-and-goal at the one.
In 2007, the Cavaliers scored 85% of the time they entered the red zone (37th in the nation) but managed to score a TD only 59% of the time which ranked 63rd. In 2008, Virginia scored on 80% of its red zone trips (72nd) but managed a TD only 51% of the time (95th). This season things have improved somewhat as Virginia is tied for the lead nationally, scoring 100% of the time when in the red zone. The TD percentage is 58%, which places the Cavaliers 63rd. It’s an improvement from 2008 but still a low number nonetheless.
“The telling statistic in there is red zone touchdowns. It’s a little bit more telling if you take that number and say possessions between the 20 and 30. You’re not quite in scoring territory yet, so maybe your kicker has gotten you three more points than what you otherwise might have gotten. But when you’re down there on the 12-yard line and that field goal adds to your red zone thing, that’s a little smaller victory than you would like to have,” Groh said. “To answer your question directly, the fact...
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