2022 Virginia football season preview

2021 season: 6-6, 4-4 in the ACC (4th in the Coastal Division)

Head coach: Tony Elliott (1st season)

The Cavaliers have a new coach in charge. The 2020 and 2021 seasons were below expectations for Virginia—it finished 4-5 and 4-4 in the ACC, respectively. With that, former head coach Bronco Mendenhall resigned, ushering in a new era of Cavaliers football: the Tony Elliott era. 

Elliott spent his last 11 seasons at Clemson on their offensive coaching staff, moving from running backs coach up to offensive coordinator. In his tenure, the Tigers won six ACC championships, made four College Football Playoff appearances and won the national title twice.  His experience and accomplished resume are an upgrade for a Virginia team that has struggled in recent years. 

The Cavaliers' biggest strength this season is under center. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong is returning for a fifth season and bringing his cannon of an arm back with him. He holds countless Virginia records like single-game passing yards, single-season passing yards and single-season passing touchdowns. Coupled with Elliott’s offensive genius, the Cavaliers are bound to be a high-flying powerhouse with the ball this year. 

Defensively, the narrative is quite different. Virginia doesn’t have the same star power on that side of the ball and has struggled in recent years. Elliott is trying to change that, bringing in John Rudzinski to take over as defensive coordinator. That fresh start and dominant offense will help the Cavaliers be much more competitive in the ACC this season. 

Rachael Kaplan profile
Rachael Kaplan | Sports Managing Editor

Rachael Kaplan is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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