Hoo Preview 2012: Take Five

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When football season begins in early September, Virginia will try to put together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005. To pull off that feat, the Cavaliers will have to replace the production of many departed seniors as they face an arguably tougher schedule. What are some of the key questions for the Hoos? Who are some of the key faces in 2012? “Take 5” as TheSabre.com covers some of the top themes, names, and more on day two of the Hoo Preview.

Take 5

5 Reasons To Hope

1. Experienced offensive line. The Cavaliers return three starters to the offensive line, though it appears that guard Luke Bowanko may be changing to the center spot. With that much experience up front, particularly at the tackle spots, UVa could be a ball-control, smash-mouth team this year in order to protect a young defense.

2. Linebacker leaders. Steve Greer and LaRoy Reynolds have led the team in tackling for three years running (Greer in 2009 and 2011, Reynolds in 2010) and both return as seniors in 2012. More than likely, that duo will be the tackling leaders again this time around but it is their leadership that will be needed more than anything with a lot of young faces around them on defense.

3. Diverse receiving options. Kris Burd emerged as the Hoos’ go-to receiver the past two seasons in many respects; he posted 1,712 receiving yards over those two years. With Burd moving on, the good news is that UVa has a diverse set of pass-catching options. Several running backs and tight ends have proven they can pull in passes while young receivers Dominique Terrell and Darius Jennings have a year of experience to build on this season. That bodes well for an offense that didn’t allow many sacks in 2011.