Offense Made Strides In 2010

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Coach Bill Lazor’s pro-style offense gave Virginia a spark this season.

In addition to a brand new defense, head coach Mike London started his tenure at Virginia with the goal of introducing a new offensive scheme. It was a welcome change after the Hoos had languished near the bottom of the FBS in offensive production. After finishing the 2009 season ranked 118th out of 120 teams in total offense, Virginia jumped to No. 56 in the nation in 2010 under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

Abandoning the spread offense experiment implemented under predecessor Gregg Brandon, Lazor favored a more pro-style approach. He seemed like the perfect candidate to introduce this particular system; Lazor has seven years of NFL experience under his belt with the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, and Atlanta Falcons. The Cavaliers had the luxury of a few returning veterans, as well as a host of young talent ready to contribute. After two seasons of abysmal offensive performance, there was really nowhere to go but up in Charlottesville.

Still, it’s difficult to categorize UVa’s offensive outfit this season as either an overwhelming success or a straight failure. At times, different units found their feet while others floundered, lending a sense of inconsistency to the offense as a whole. Like the entire 2010 season, there were ups and downs on offense, with as many questions posed as answered. The numbers alone lend support to the new pro-style system; from 118th to 56th is a drastic improvement, and one can conjecture that the Hoos will only get better as time goes on with fresh talent recruited specifically for the system. However, this year’s specific weaknesses must be addressed and rectified if Virginia is gong to make a return to the postseason stage.

What Worked

Portions of the 2010 season seemed like a script only the best Hollywood writers could have come up with. On offense, there were two players, seniors Keith Payne and Dontrelle Inman , who had storybook endings to their oft-troubled careers as Cavaliers.