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Cavaliers Defense Ready For Up-Tempo Cougars - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cavaliers Defense Ready For Up-Tempo Cougars

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UVa junior defensive back Demetrious Nicholson UVa junior defensive back Demetrious Nicholson

The UVa football squad has three team-captains for the upcoming season: seniors Luke Bowanko, Jake Snyder, and Rijo Walker.

Bowanko and Snyder are three-year starters in the trenches, with Bowanko at offensive center and Snyder at defensive end.

Walker plays safety, and is also a special teams standout.

Walker and the Virginia secondary has a big challenge this weekend against a potent, up-tempo offense like BYU.

UVA safeties Anthony Harris and Brandon Phelps started every game last year as sophomores, in what was one of the youngest secondaries in the nation.

They'll be joined this season by starting defensive backs Demetrious Nicholson and DreQuan Hoskey in the secondary.

The 'Hoos know they'll have to play smart against BYU.

"You got to realize what they want to do to you," says junior strong safety Anthony Harris.  "Some teams try to use the short passing game as a form of running style.  With the spread offense, you have to take it as assignment football.  It's all about knowing the formula, as far as down and distance, personnel, and knowing the tendencies of the players."

Senior defensive end Jake Snyder adds, "You get an offense like that in a 2nd and 15, or a 3rd and 12 type of situation, it's going to throw off what they can do.  If we can bring some pressure, and make it 2nd or 3rd and long, that'll definitely throw off their rhythm and timing, and that's how we make plays."

Virginia will host BYU in its season opener Saturday at 3:30pm.

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