Cavalier Corner

October 2014

Cavalier Corner is the publication just for UVa sports fans!

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Page 25 of 55

BY BRAD FRANKLIN T O SAY THAT UVA struggled in the passing game a season ago, when the team's top pass catcher wasn't even a wide receiver and its quarterbacks threw for fewer than 3,000 yards for the first time since 2009, is an understatement. Obviously, the Cavaliers needed to take a step forward going into this season. And that's why the talent the Wahoos have at wide receiver is so vital. That talent was on display during the team's 28‑20 loss to then‑No. 7 UCLA in the season opener Aug. 30. Head coach Mike London finally had some receivers to go make plays for him. The group, coached by former UVa signal‑ caller Marques Hagans, returned all of its con‑ tributors except departed fourth‑year Tim Smith. In addition to getting guys such as fourth‑years Darius Jennings and Miles Gooch, third‑year Ca‑ naan Severin, and second‑years Keeon Johnson and Kyle Dockins back, the Hoos have several newcomers, including redshirt first‑year Andre Levrone and true first‑years Doni Dowling and Jamil Kamara. But in the preseason, you'd have been hard‑ pressed to hear a quote that wasn't a tired, old cliché coming from that group, at times including Hagans himself. The coach simply thought his guys hadn't earned the right to say much else. "I feel like we were at a certain standard last year," Hagans said, "and until we prove that we're beyond that standard, then there's really nothing for us to talk about. We have things that we have to prove, and every guy has to continue to show up every day, work hard, find a way to get better and do their job." Led by former UVa tight end Jake McGee (now at Florida for his final season of eligibil‑ ity) last season, UVa receivers scored only nine touchdowns. McGee (43), Jennings (38) and run‑ ning back Kevin Parks (38) were the only players on the roster that caught 30 passes or more. No player accounted for more than 395 yards. And the team had an astounding number of drops both in big and small spots. The Hoos ranked 10th out of 14 teams in the ACC in receiving yards (2,542 on 277 receptions) last season, but were dead last in touchdowns — the only team in single digits. That's especially low considering Florida State had 42, Clemson 39, and North Carolina, Miami and Duke from the Coastal Division all had 25 or more. "I think the production kind of speaks for it‑ SOMETHING TO PROVE UVa's Wide Receivers Are Out To Show They Are A Deep And Talented Group

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