5 Things To Watch At The Spring Game

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Mike London will make his first public appearance at Scott Stadium as Virginia’s head coach this Saturday.

With Saturday’s Spring Game on the docket this Saturday, the Virginia football team will debut many things – even if the full playbook isn’t one of them. A new coaching staff, a new defensive alignment, and new pro combat series uniforms are just some of the intriguing factors for the weekend.

On Tuesday, Virginia coach Mike London explained the format of this year’s Spring Game. The Cavaliers will begin by warming up with individual drills. Then they will script some special teams situations, since those may not come up during the scrimmage. Following that will be a break from the action to name captains and announce team awards.

After that, Virginia will divide into two teams – the home team will be the first-team offense and second-team defense while the visitors will be the first-team defense and second-team offense – and begin a controlled scrimmage. London will first place the ball on the offense’s own 3-yard line, then at midfield and then the defense’s 30-yard line; there will be 15 plays from each spot, which may include special teams and alternating possessions. The last spot will be the defense’s 12-yard line, but the offense will then be given just four plays to score. Finally, the offense will attempt to drive down the field in a two-minute drill situation.

“That way, it will have offense versus defense components to it, but at the same time it will also satisfy being able to try to cover all elements that would happen in a game,” London said. “Sometimes you play in a game and you never have to kick out of your end zone, and you never have to get out of your end zone on the minus three, so we’re going to try to manufacture those particular situations and go from there.”

It is common practice for teams not to reveal the extent of the playbook at the Spring Game, and that will be the case this Saturday; plus, as London pointed out, the team has only put in part of the playbook anyway in the first 13 practices. But,