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Clinic Talk: Breaking down the Virginia Cavaliers

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What offense and defense Miami should see vs UVA

Louisville v Virginia
UVA gave Louisville all they had
Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

In our breakdown of the Cavs, we’ll use the Louisville game to view the Cavs offense and the Wake Forest game to view the Cavs defense.

Above, UVA runs a diamond pistol by the goal line. It’s not a new formation and many high school teams love it for a variety of reasons. They run it out of 31 vs a traditional flexbone spread style 30 personnel. It draws 10 in the box with no high safety. The UVA QB, Benkert, seems to be reading the player closest to the flat that can provide help in coverage to the 1on1 to the bottom of the screen. If he sits or plays run, it’s a throw to the slant; if he drops to the hook-curl-slant it will be a give on the double iso.

With UVA coming in 99th at rushing in the NCAA I’m not really sure why play-action is working so well but against Louisville it does.

Oh, now I see it. Louisville bites so hard playing cover 0, leaving the vert in 3-verts to a 1on1. A lot of QB’s will throw a 1on1, especially there with no one to jump the route.

Another look at poor LB drops from the Cards.

But UVA misses and throws the INT on the deep ball that the QB had been forcing and hitting on all night.


There’s been an increasing trend in stand up defensive ends, especially on rush situations. I think the move is to allow for quicker blitzes and drops on zone-blitzing schemes. However, it usually makes a defensive end easier to kick out on things like trap and power as they’re less effective in the run game.

As you can see above, on 3rd and 9 UVA is in a eagle front. The “bubble” as some coaches call it is huge from center to tight end and later in the game Wake’s QB uses it to run for a big touchdown. While Brad Kaaya showed he may run for a whole 4 yards once or twice a game, he isn’t going to be a threat to run between the tackles on 3rd and 9.

Inside the +5 for Wake, they stay in 11 personnel and the Cavs play an over front with a stand up end.


The UVA defense is bad. They leave a wide open look for the RPO here, then also get burned on what they’re set to defend, a deep-middle throw inside the red zone.

UNC runs a lot of outside zone in key situations allowing their O-Line to fan the UVA D-Line and cut underneath it. I hope Miami keeps up their OZ plays and pin/pull schemes for the Cavs.

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