From the start of his tenure, Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall spotlighted the offensive line as a must-fix position. The numbers nor the talent-level were where they needed to be when Mendenhall’s tenure began in December of 2015.
Mendenhall added some grad-transfers to help fill more immediate needs earlier in his tenure. Meanwhile, Virginia signed five offensive line prospects each in the classes of 2017 and 2018, and four more in 2019. Two signed with Virginia in 2020, but the Hoos reeled in four offensive line recruits in 2021.
Despite the recruiting priority, the offensive line was not a quick fix. In 2016, UVA surrendered three sacks per game, churned out only 3.5 yards per carry and 113.6 yards rushing per game. In 2017, UVA allowed 2.38 sacks per game, managed only 3.1 yards per carry and 93.5 yards rushing per game. The addition of quarterback Bryce Perkins helped the rushing game take a step forward in 2018, when the Hoos rushed for 173.2 yards per game and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. UVA allowed 2.38 sacks per game that season. While a great season, the 2019 season was a step backward for the program in terms of yards per carry (3.8), yards rushing per game (121.2), and sacks allowed (2.93). The...
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