Hoo Preview 2012: The Schedule

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Michael Rocco and the Hoos want another bowl bid in 2012.

Fall Saturdays tend to provide lots of emotions for football fans. Rivalries are intense. Wins are uplifting. Losses are crushing. When your favorite team can put together enough wins to go to a conference championship game or a postseason bowl, it adds another game or two to the emotional roller coaster. That’s part of the fun, though. The Hoo Preview tackles the Virginia schedule next to see what Saturdays – and one Thursday night – could be like for the Hoos this fall.

Richmond Spiders

  • Date/Time: Sept. 1/3 p.m.
  • Television: RSN
  • The venue: Scott Stadium (61,500)
  • 2011 record: 3-8 (0-8 CAA)
  • Bowl game: FCS (no playoff)
  • Last year against the Hoos: DNP

Early take: Virginia opens the season against a familiar face as former Cavalier assistant Danny Rocco leads the Spiders against the Hoos. Rocco replaced another former Virginia coach (interim coach Wayne Lineburg, who is now an associate head coach at UR) as the head Spider and will look to get his tenure at Richmond off to a good start. The biggest thing to watch this weekend will be how Virginia’s inexperienced defense handles UR’s new fast-paced offense. Look for this to be an improved Spider team from last fall’s 3-8 edition but not enough to take down a bigger, faster, and more talented Cavalier club.

  • Defense: 4-3
  • Returning starters: 7
  • 2011 Points Per Game (PPG) Allowed: 26.8
  • 2011 Yards Per Play (YPP) Allowed: 5.4
  • Defensive Strengths: Defensive line, linebackers
  • Defensive questions: Depth
  • Defensive players to watch: LB Darius McMillian, DL Kerry Wynn, S Cooper Taylor

At a glance: Richmond’s defense struggled last season in large part due to injuries that ravaged that side of the ball. With little depth, the team simply could not recover. The defense should be better, especially the