Much has changed with Virginia’s offense over the course of the past year. New coaches, new schemes, new personnel. But just how different will the Cavaliers be under Bronco Mendenhall, who arrived in Charlottesville following a successful run at BYU that saw the Cougars once again live up to their storied tradition of high-powered offenses?
In 2015, Mendenhall’s curtain call in Provo, BYU ran a total of 917 offensive plays in 13 games — an average of 70.5 per game. That’s only one play different than UVA ran last year, as the Cavaliers had 837 offensive plays in 12 outings, or 69.75 a game.
Last fall, as the finale of Mike London era played out in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers were balanced offensively, generating 424 rushing plays and 413 passing plays. That’s a 50.7/49.3 ratio in terms of run to pass — a razor-thin margin.
By comparison, BYU had the exact same number of rushing plays last season that Virginia had passes – 413 — while the Cougars had 504 pass attempts, making for a 55/45 pass ratio.
The UVA quarterbacks had a higher completion percentage than BYU’s signal-callers last season, 61 percent to 60 percent, but the Cougars threw two-thirds the interceptions – 12 compared to 18 by the Cavaliers. So the hope is that as the season progresses, the Cavaliers will be a little less error-prone than they have been in recent years. The Cougars also threw for nearly 1,000 more yards on the season (3,854 to 2,859).
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