Know Your Foe: A look at the 0-2 Virginia Cavaliers ahead of the face-off

UConn Junior Brian Mcallister tackles a member of the Maine defensive line during the Huskies victory over the Maine Bears on Sept. 1.  

The UConn Huskies will look to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss in Annapolis last weekend when they welcome the winless Virginia Cavaliers to East Hartford.

The Cavaliers have dropped their first two games of the season to very different opponents. The season opener was a 37-20 home loss to the Richmond Spiders, an FCS team. It was Richmond’s third victory in 33 meetings with Virginia.

A week later, the Cavaliers lost their second game of the season to the No. 22 Oregon Ducks in a 44-26 decision in Eugene, Oregon.

Virginia is coming off a 4-8 2015 season in which they finished 3-5 in ACC play. It was the final year for head coach Mike London. He resigned following the season finishing with a 27-46 record in six years at Virginia. Bronco Mendenhall has taken over as head coach this season.

The Commodores are lead by quarterback Kurt Benkert, a transfer from ECU who will be playing his third game under center for Virginia. The junior has thrown five touchdown passes so far this season and has averaged 228 yards per game through the air.

In terms of the ground game, Virginia relies on senior running back Albert Reid. A transfer from the University of Maryland, Reid has only punched in one touchdown in the early season but has logged 156 rushing yards. That’s good for an average of 77 yards a game and 7.3 yards per attempt.

It’s been a fairly balanced receiving corps for Virginia thus far. Senior Keeon Johnson led the way with two receiving touchdowns, but junior Doni Dowling, sophomore Olamide Zaccheaus and freshman Warren Craft have all found the back of the end zone for the Commodores.

The defense so far has been lacking for the Cavaliers. Through two games, Virginia has allowed an average of 578 yards per game and 40.5 points per game.


Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue.