50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff: Defensive Line Reboot

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Virginia kicks off against Pitt on August 31.
Mandy Alonso came on strong in 2018 before an injury ended his season in November. ~ Mike Ingalls

As the final day of July ticks off the calendar, the Virginia football team moves one day closer to the start of preseason practice. The Hoos begin their work for the 2019 season on Friday evening at Lambeth Field. That gives them 29 days of preparation for the season opener with Pittsburgh on August 31.

When the Cavaliers take the field against the Panthers, they’re expected to have a high level defense in place. UVA might look different than last season in that regard, though. That’s because one unit is getting a reboot and the “50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff” series is ready to take a look.

46 – Defensive Line Reboot

Virginia won eight games a year ago and its first bowl game since 2005. Along the way, the defense allowed 21 or fewer points seven times and those games produced a 6-1 record. The season ended with a shutout in the Belk Bowl, a 28-0 victory against South Carolina.

UVA ranked in the top 25 last season in interceptions (T-11), passing defense (16), total defense (20), and scoring defense (21) and many of the players that helped produce that success return this year. Still, if you look at rushing defense (47), sacks (69), and third down conversions (82), Virginia