What Happened? What To Do About It? Urgency For Virginia Defense To Try To Solve Issues Again

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Virginia is 2-1 this season.
Virginia coaches Bronco Mendenhall and Nick Howell talk on the way to the locker room at Scott Stadium. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/TheSabre.com

It’s been a little more than two days since the North Carolina football team ran over, around, and through the Virginia defense in a 59-39 scoreboard heater. The Tar Heels put up 699 yards, averaged more than 10 yards per play, and generally gained yards however they pleased.

The good news is that the Hoos won’t see Sam Howell and UNC again this year. The bad news is that with nine more games to play, there are more experienced quarterbacks and potentially explosive offenses on the road ahead. That’s presented problems for the Cavaliers for parts of three straight seasons now.

Virginia allowed 34.6 points per game in the final seven games of 2019 and 29.6 points per game in 2020. Saturday’s showing against North Carolina was the first breakdown of 2021, but it was a massive one and it wasn’t one dimensional either. While the 2020 Wahoos allowed 304.4 passing yards per game to rank 123rd out of 127 teams nationally, at least the run defense held firm to allow 138.5 yards per game to rank 37th. Against the Heels, both were a disaster. Howell passed for 307 yards and 5 touchdowns, but the running game cranked out 392 yards too at an eye-popping 8.3

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