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2020 Virginia football season preview

2019 season: 9-5, 6-2 in the ACC (1st in the Coastal Division)

Head coach: Bronco Mendenhall (5th season)

Coming off an impressive 2019 season ending with an appearance in the Capital One Orange Bowl, Virginia is on an upward trajectory. Following a successful 11 years as the head coach at BYU, Bronco Mendenhall has turned the Cavaliers around, transforming them into a 2019 ACC championship contender.  

Virginia will need to do some regrouping this season. Last season’s starting quarterback Bryce Perkins has graduated, along with nine other starters. The weakness of this team will lie in its passing game, with questions at both the quarterback and receiver positions.  

Coach Mendenhall may have trouble finding people to catch passes. Virginia loses its top three pass-catchers from last season, Tanner Cowley, Hasise Dubois and Joe Reed, leaving gaps in the wide receiver and tight end positions. Young talent will need to fill this void.  

However, Virginia’s game in the trenches is looking stronger than ever. With the entire offensive line returning, potential starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong should have plenty of time in the pocket.  

This Virginia football team is defining new boundaries for a program that is not used to winning at the level of Mendenhall’s Cavaliers. However, with success often comes growing pains, and the Cavaliers will need to find answers at some key positions if they plan to replicate last season’s success. 

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