Virginia Football is entering Week 5 with a 3-1 record and coming off of a big ACC win over “rival” Louisville. The Cavaliers released the depth chart heading into their road game at NC State, and it features some changes on defense due to injury.
Coach Mendenhall shared some devastating news at the press conference, stating that defensive end Richard Burney will be out for the remainder of the season thanks to a medical condition. Additionally, inside linebacker Jordan Mack will miss some time with an injury.
#UVa’s Bronco Mendenhall said DE Richard Burney is done for the year. "He will be fine” but he won’t be back this week. ILB Jordan Mack is also out for about six weeks.— Brad Franklin (@Cavs_Corner) September 24, 2018
Mack started as the middle linebacker last week against Louisville, with Malcolm Cook in as the buck linebacker. Now, both are out against NC State as Cook continues to deal with minor injuries and Mack is out. Zane “ZZ Stop” Zandier moved into the starting position at MLB this week, with Robert Snyder at ILB. Zandier has shown to be up to the challenge with a couple outstanding games (namely Ohio and Louisville) so far this season.
Unfortunately, for an already young defense, this is another blow. Three of the four linebacker starting spots are going to second years (Charles Snowden, Zandier, and Snyder).
Still no news on transfer Dylan Thompson, although he was in a (nameless) jersey last week on the sidelines.
It’s not just the defense that’s young. Of the 10 offensive lineman listed in the two-deep, only Jake Fieler and Marcus Applefield have less than two years of eligibility remaining after this year. A lot of Hoos are getting reps, which is good, but the inexperience is something to keep an eye on.
On special teams, it’s unsurprising Hunter Pearson got the starting nod over AJ Mejia after the former went 2-for-2 in field goals and the latter’s FG kicking woes continued.
You can see the full depth chart here: