Maurice Canady led the defense with 13 tackles.
Against BYU, Virginia knew it would face a hurry-up spread offense and the Cougars didn’t disappoint by running 93 plays at Scott Stadium on Saturday. The Cavaliers countered with strategic planning from defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, who elected to use his substitution packages on 90 of those snaps.
“It was about what they were doing,” Virginia coach Mike London said. “If you noticed the offense, it was the Pistol, inverted, or wishbone. There were a lot of things they do. We wanted to put speed and quickness on the field. That is what led to the personnel in this game.”
In fact, after coming out in the base 4-3 package for 3 early plays, UVa flipped to its nickel look by bringing in defensive back Maurice Canady for starting strong-side linebacker Demeitre Brim . The Cavaliers stayed in that set – becoming essentially a 4-2-5 defense – for all but BYU’s final two drives when they moved to a dime look with 3 down linemen (Brim subbed in for tackle David Dean ). In the end, the Hoos used the nickel defense for 80 plays, the dime for 10 plays, and the base set for 3 plays by my count.
“In Coach Tenuta’s scheme, we really match personnel unlike last year. I looked forward to that coming into this weekend,” said Canady, who indicated he played in the box near the line of scrimmage a lot in high school. “For real, I’d just read the blocks and whatever opened up, that’s what I’d go attack.”
Canady attacked his way to a team-best 13 tackles on the night. He added a pass break-up for good measure. Of course, he was far from the only Hoo with a really good outing.
Anthony Harris recorded 11 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception to set up the game-winning score, 1 pass breakup, and 1 blocked punt to set up a touchdown in the game. That earned him the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week Award as well as a
Subscribe to read full story
Tired of low effort articles and clickbait? So are we. Subscribe to read great articles written by a full-time staff with decades of experience.
Already a subscriber? Login Here