Does this team have a starting quarterback?
“So we would have hoped, particularly with him being at the top of the chart, that he could have thrown 300 or 400 passes in the spring. That’s probably not going to be the case but that’s the reality of it.”—Al Groh, prior to spring practice on his quarterback, Jameel Sewell.
Another quarterback question mark?
Jameel Sewell helped Virginia fans limp out of a forgettable 2006 season with a proverbial “Wait until next year!” smile on their face.
The Jameel Sewell-watch continues after a wrist injury prevented him from participating fully in spring practice, casting some doubt on whether he can surpass last year’s promising season.
Sewell showed promise as he tossed 1,342 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for an additional four.
Unfortunately, surgery to repair a wrist injury on his throwing hand left him without the full spring practice learning experience. The absence leaves many, including Groh, to wonder whether this young quarterback is yet another enigma of this team.
Who will emerge as an offensive weapon?
This team has an offensive cast with more hyped names than Ocean’s Thirteen.
Sewell, Cedric Peerman, (Keith Payne—suspended indefinitely by Groh for academics), Raynard Horne, Tom Santi and Jon Stupar. The question is who will emerge?
Who will step up at wide receiver?
First, Sewell’s operation squashes his spring practice.
Next, lead receiver Kevin Ogletree’s season ends during the spring when his leg gave out on him marking the third time since the 2003 season the Cavaliers will be without their leading returning receiver. Ogletree finished third in the ACC last season with 52 catches for 582 yards and four TDs.
Now we hear rumblings that projected starting cornerback Mike Brown sustained a serious leg injury in off-season seven-on-seven activities. Has the injury bug already doomed this squad before they’ve even take the practice turf?
Which Groh has more pressure to improve?
National college football publications have easily slipped Al Groh into the category of “Coaches on the Hot Seat” after last year’s dismal 5-7 season.
SI.com’s Stewart Mandell took it one step lower, naming him the Worst Coach in College Football.
Needless to say, Virginia needs a successful season like Nicole Richie needs a sandwich.
If the team is to improve, it will rely on the younger Groh, Mike Groh (offensive coordinator), to upgrade a unit that was just awful last year. Virginia was ranked 100 or higher in each offensive category.
Mike Groh will have a much better hand to play this year as the deck holds an experienced offensive line led by Branden Albert, depth at running back, and hopefully, a veteran Sewell.
“The most important thing is the experience of these linemen and the confidence that they gained last year,” said Al Groh at spring practice.
Wahoos eagerly wonder just how much more aggressive Mike London’s defense will be. In order to keep it at high octane, Mike Groh’s unit needs to do its part.
Can this team win on the road?
Groh’s Virginia teams are 10-24 on the road, including a 7-17 traveling ACC mark.
At Wyoming, at NC State, at North Carolina and at Miami, seeing will be believing.
Wes McElroy hosts “The Final Round” on ESPN AM840. M-F 4pm-6pm.