August 19, 2008
Mikell Simpson and Cedric Peerman are two proven tailbacks for the Cavaliers, who will look to a relatively unproven offensive line this season. After the departure of Branden Albert, Ian Yates-Cunningham, and Jordy Lipsy, Virginia is filling the slots with players who they feel are more than capable. Last season, Cavalier quarterbacks were sacked 33 times, a number that is not bad, but will looked to be improved on in 2008.
Eugene Monroe anchors the unit at left tackle. The senior has been named to several award watch lists prior to the kickoff of the season. Will Barker is the only other returning starter at right tackle. B.J. Cabbell, Zak Stair, and Jack Shields will move into the roles of the departed linemen from 2007, and look to prove themselves as good pass protectors, as well as solid blockers for Simpson and Peerman.
The line will be especially important with the new starting quarterback, as Peter Lalich, Scott Deke, and Marc Verica battle for the starting job. All three use pocket passing more than Jameel Sewell did last season, and, while all three have the ability to scramble, lack the ability to scramble the way that Sewell did. As far as the starting quarterback goes, Mike Groh has said that he would like to have decided on a starter by the time exclusive USC preparation starts next week.