Cavalier Offense Takes on New Look Under Fairchild

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

When Virginia begins fall training camp Monday, there will be a new quarterback under center in redshirt sophomore David Watford and a new starting tailback in Kevin Parks.

But perhaps more importantly, a new offensive system under first-year coordinator Steve Fairchild.

It's a system and coach that the players say they feel comfortable with.

"I'm a big fan of Coach Fairchild," junior tight end Jake McGee said. "He's good with the players and seeing what we do well and wanting to have our opinions on it. I'm excited to see what it brings this year."

Fairchild spent four seasons as head coach at Colorado State with coordinating stops in the NFL and college ranks and he's bringing that experience and philosophy to the Cavaliers.

"Every offense, don't turn the ball over, have the ability to run the ball, have the ability to have explosive plays," he explained. "There's no way around it. You've got to create those things."

One of Fairchild's priorities is establishing UVa as an aggressive, run-oriented team.

"We've got to be a physical run team. It rears its head in every game. There's some point in time where you have to make a yard or you've got to bang out a first down. There's just more an attitude about it than anything else and we've got to get that attitude."

"When Coach Fairchild first came in that was his thing, he said we're going to be a physical team starting with the offensive line and that pretty much sums up the whole offense," Parks said. "We've got to be physical running the ball."

"Yeah that's definitely something as an offensive lineman you look forward to doing and I think we've got the guys this year that can do it," senior offensive lineman Luke Bowanko added.

The passing game will also be getting a makeover, with Fairchild bringing in different concepts and wrinkles, all in an effort to get the balls in the hands of the Cavalier skill players.
"He has plays really designed for our playmakers, plays to get the ball out quick," Watford explained. "Just designed the spread the ball out, throw it deep, short routes, intermediate routes, like whatever."

"You won't just see one basic thing out of this year," senior wide receiver Tim Smith added. "You might see pistol one play, we might go spread another play. It's just a variety in his offense that he brings."

It's an offense Fairchild believes will keep Virginia competitive this season.

"You know if we can line up right, attempt to do the right assignment, do it in a play hard, play fast way and protect the football, you'd be amazed at how many games you're in."

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