AP NEWS

William & Mary at Virginia: 3 keys for the Cavaliers

September 2, 2017

U.VA.’S KEYS TO VICTORY

1Control the game: A year ago, the Cavaliers launched the Bronco Mendenhall era by getting pushed around at home by an in-state FCS opponent, losing to Richmond 37-20. Virginia’s players and coaches believe they’re light years ahead of where they were when last year began. Opening the season at home against William & Mary is their chance to prove it.

2Protect the QB: Kurt Benkert is the only experienced quarterback on the Cavaliers’ roster, and — as such — is arguably their most irreplaceable player. U.Va. has bolstered its offensive line with two graduate transfers, but it’ll be starting a rookie at left tackle. It needs to keep Benkert upright and healthy in this game and all season.

3Let the stars shine: Virginia has three big-time talents on defense in linebacker Micah Kiser, safety Quin Blanding and defensive end Andrew Brown. It’s talked this preseason about being more multiple on defense and moving Blanding, in particular, around for greater impact. All three should be able to have big games against the Tribe.