Georgia Tech Football Preliminary Opponent Preview: Virginia Cavaliers

Georgia Tech and Geoff Collins will be looking to avenge a close loss from last season against the Virginia Cavaliers in 2020.

In 2019, the Virginia Cavaliers were a surprise and rose to the top of the ACC Coastal in the fourth year of the Bronco Mendenhall tenure. For the third straight season, the Cavaliers improved their record under Mendenhall.

2019 Recap:

It’s safe to say that last season was almost a dream season for the Cavaliers who once again improved under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. In 2019, the Cavs went 9-5 including a 9-3 regular season record with notable wins over North Carolina and Virginia Tech. They did, however, finish the season off in a tough manner with back-to-back losses to Clemson (62-17) in the ACC Championship Game and Florida (36-28) in the Orange Bowl.

Key Losses: QB Bryce Perkins, WR Joe Reed, WR Hassie Dubois,

The biggest loss here is quarterback Bryce Perkins who threw for over 3,500-yards and 22-touchdowns through the air as well as 769-yards and 11-touchdowns on the ground. It will be hard for any quarterback to replace that production for the Cavaliers. Additionally, UVA will have to replace their top two wide receivers in Joe Reed and Hassie Dubois who combined had 152 receptions for over 1,700-yards, and 13 touchdowns.

Key Returnees: RB Wayne Taulapapa, WR Terrell Jana, LB Zane Zandier, LB Noah Taylor, DL Charles Snowden

While the Cavs lost their top running threat in Perkins, they do return their top running back in Wayne Taulapapa who had 473-yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Another key part of the offense returning is wide receiver Terrell Jana who had 73-receptions for 878-yards and three touchdowns.

On defense, Virginia returns a quality trio in Zane Zandier, Noah Taylor, and Charles Snowden. Combined the three had 236 total tackles, 35.5 tackles for a loss, and 16.5 sacks. It’s safe to say there’s very few trios in the ACC that can match that production. They’ll once again be the leaders of the Virginia defense in 2020.

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Overall:

Overall, Virginia in 2020 will most likely take a step back. While they should remain a competitive team this upcoming season, it’s likely they’ll be in the 7-8 win range instead of pushing for 10-wins. The defense once again should be really good but questions remain on offense especially at quarterback where Brennan Armstrong and Keytaon Thompson will battle for the starting job. If the offense can come together again, they’ll be a tough team to beat.

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