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Virginia Football’s statistics reveal its greatest area for improvement

It’s not necessarily the offense that’s the problem.

Richmond v Virginia Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

Despite Virginia’s 0-2 start to the 2016 campaign, the Cavaliers showed signs of improvement in its loss to Oregon, giving fans reason to believe that there’s more to this team than what they saw against Richmond. Still, a look at Virginia’s season statistics — admittedly with a two-game sample size — give fans pause. Here is where UVA stands at the moment:

  • Virginia’s defense is allowing an average of 578 yards per game, which is dead last in the ACC and 125th out of 128 FBS schools.
  • Both the passing and rushing yardage on defense are dead last in the ACC and ranked 115th or worse nationally.
  • Even more detailed defensive statistics such as third down conversion percentage allowed (61%), first downs allowed per game (49), and team passing efficiency on defense (183.2) are — you guessed it, dead last in the ACC and ranked 110th or worse in the country.

Still, there’s a reason the Oregon game was a bit of relief for many, as it at least confirmed that parts of Virginia’s game are starting to run smoothly:

  • Virginia has 47 first downs on offense, which ranks in the top 40 nationally and top 5 in the ACC.
  • Albert Reid’s 126 rushing yards on Saturday against Oregon were the most for any UVA player in 19 games.
  • The Hoos’ net punting average is 42 yards, which is 26th in FBS. So yay Nick Conte! Remember, punters are people too.

One thing stands out: Virginia’s greatest room for improvement, at least after looking at the statistics, is in its defense. Too many categories rank in the bottom 25 of the country for Virginia to put together any semblance of a bowl-eligible team. Hopefully these stats will improve as UVA faces UConn on Saturday, whose offense is ranked only 93rd nationally in points and 94th in yards on the season so far.