Losses Mount For Virginia Football Defense

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Virginia football outside linebacker Charles Snowden reportedly is done for the season with a broken ankle suffered against Abilene Christian. Snowden is the latest significant loss for the Virginia defense. ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

The Virginia football defense has suffered another major loss, as starting outside linebacker and team captain Charles Snowden suffered a broken right ankle against Abilene Christian and will be out for the season. During his November 23 press conference, Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed that Snowden has undergone surgery to repair the injury. The timetable for recovery is roughly six months, Mendenhall added.

With Snowden sidelined, senior Matt Gahm likely assumes a starting role opposite Noah Taylor. Senior Elliott Brown steps in as the third outside linebacker in the rotation.

A veteran player, Gahm has played in 42 games – including four starts – in his Virginia career. The 6’3”, 235-pound Dallas (TX) native has been reliable, and in 2020 he is enjoying the most productive year of his Cavalier career. Through eight games, Gahm is fourth on the team in tackles (25) and tackles for loss (4), and tied for second in sacks (3).

Gahm does not have the length, overall athleticism and range of Snowden, but he is a smart, reliable, physical defender who should handle his increased workload well. According to Pro Football Focus, the Abilene Christian game was the sixth time Gahm has played over 40 defensive snaps in a game in his college career. He responded with a PFF grade of 80.9 overall, including an 88.1 coverage mark and a 78 tackling grade, while totaling four tackles