Shorthanded 'Hoos Set for Saturday's Spring Game


Kevin Parks is coming off a thousand-yard rushing performance a season ago. Jake McGee has shifted into a hybrid tight end/slot receiver role this spring. Andrew Brown is one of the jewels of Virginia's most recent recruiting class.

And all three players will watching Saturday's Orange & Blue spring game from the sidelines at Scott Stadium.

Mike London said Wednesday that as many as 18 players will miss Saturday's spring game because of injuries. Because the team is so shorthanded, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines, UVa has been forced to change the format for this year's game.

"One of the challenges is, sometimes you do have injuries. You have guys who are still getting healed from season-ending surgeries," London said. "But that's all part of spring practices."

Instead of drafting the roster into two separate teams, on Saturday UVa will split up the offense (wearing orange uniforms) and the defense (in blue uniforms), with specialists wearing white.

For the players healthy enough to compete, Saturday will be the final chance to make an impression on the coaching staff. The game will mark the 15th and final practice of the spring season for London's team.

"It's live. It's out there in front of the public. People know that if you drop a ball or you make a play, that you're being watched by a lot of people," London said. "They all know that we'll sit down after the final game next week, and talk about how their spring was. And have a conversation about what there status on the team is going to be. But that's all part of the evaluation process."

This has been the second spring at UVa for coordinators Steve Fairchild (offense), Jon Tenuta (defense), and Larry Lewis (special teams). A common theme throughout the spring has been how much further along the Cavaliers have looked in their second seasons in new schemes.

But after a 2-10 season in 2013, UVa chose not to release a depth chart at the outset of the spring session, and London declared jobs up for grabs on both sides of the ball, including the quarterback position.

"It's been the focal point of this spring: The guys that play are going to be the guys that produce. And there's no depth chart about who's this and who's that," London said Wednesday. "It's important that everybody knows that if you weren't a guy that was getting a lot of reps, that this performance -- added with all the other performances -- could help you move ahead, stay the same, or perhaps be looking over your shoulder when a new group of first-years come in, wanting to take your position."


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