UVA Football Spending Extra Time on the Run Game in Spring Practice
UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall
UVa head football coach Bronco Mendenhall says the 'Hoos are spending a lot of extra time this spring working on the run game.
Virginia ranked last in the ACC last season in rushing, but the guys now believe with a dual-threat quarterback in Bryce Perkins, who's a threat to run, the overall run game will be better.
"Back in the last offensive system that we had, they knew we were handing the ball off every time, there was no option there, says UVa senior offensive lineman Jake Fieler. "Now it makes the defense stay true, and they can't just pack the box and jam it inside so I think it's huge. It's really opened up our run game this spring."
"You can see it against our defense, they tell us all the time since spring started, they're so confused, says UVa senior running back Jordan Ellis. "They don't know who has the ball and it's just opening up everything for him (Bryce) me, O (Olamide Zaccheaus), Joe (Reed), everybody. Our whole offensive is opening up."
UVa offensive coordinator, Robert Anae says, "I do believe we will be a way better run team than we've been in the past, that's my take and I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to run the ball better."
UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, "The style of play that we are incorporating, I think maximizes our current ability at offensive line, we're still thin, we're still not as physical as I would like, but our offseason program, the work capacity that we've expanded, the size that we've added, the strength that we've added is showing. We're a more physical team than we have been."
Mendenhall also says that rising sophomore safety Joey Blount will miss the rest of spring practice, out 6-8 weeks with a collorbone injury. Blount is a favorite to replace the graduating Quin Blanding at safety.
Virginia's annual spring game is two weeks from Saturday on July 28th.
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Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.