After the loss to the North Carolina Tar Heels over the weekend, the Virginia Cavaliers are now 2-5 and there is a lot of blame to go around. The offense is ranked 98th and 96th in scoring and yards and committed five turnovers in a game for the second time this season. Meanwhile, the defense is ranked 107th and 86th in scoring and yards and has only created six turnovers on the year. One unit that has gone under the radar is special teams. Below is UVA's national ranking in three different categories according to FBSdrivestats.com:
The Hoos rank dead last in the country in average offensive starting field position. The offense starts drives on the 25 yard-line while the defense averages starting on the 35. That 10 yard difference is also the worst in the country. These stats take into account turnovers too, since the defense can set up great field position for the offense by creating takeaways, and the offense can help the defense's position by limiting turnovers. Unfortunately the Cavaliers are 120th in creating takeaways and 115th in committing turnovers. With those factors you would think the return unit is off the hook. However, that is not the case as the chart below shows how the return units have done:
The kickoff and punt return units are averaging only returning the ball to the 22 yard line, which ranks 126th in the country. A touchback in college football automatically goes to the 25 yard line. That means Virginia is averaging a worse starting position than if just taking a knee in the endzone when catching the kickoff. Of the 41 kickoffs UVA has received this season, they have 20 touchbacks, been stopped short of the 25 17 times, and only made it past the 25 four times! These units need to turn it around if Virginia is going to finish this season strong.