First and foremost, I’m CJ. Hello. I’m a Duke fan, a ginger, a former mascot and really excited to be part of this blog. As a Duke fan, this past weekend was awful. Daniel Jones struggled…again. The Blue Devils still can’t score in the red-zone; it’s like listening to a Nickelback song. The song starts with a nice opening guitar riff, you get slightly excited and then the second Chad Kroeger opens his mouth, you realize it’s straight trash and lose hope rapidly. That’s Duke’s offense in a nutshell…it’s Nickelback.
Regardless, it’s spurred me to start a new segment, “CJ’s Reality Check.”
It’s time we finally admit it….UVA is for real.
Since the rocky offensive start to the season, the Cavaliers are averaging 36 points per game. Once more, they’ve physically dominated potential bowl teams in consecutive weeks. In the last three games, UVA is averaging 20 points in the first half. This team gets off to quick starts and has had strong quarterback play from Kurt Benkert, who has tossed three TD’s in each of his last three games.
It gets better. UVA’s defense has been one of the best in the conference this season. They rank 31st in yards allowed per game, 16th in sacks per game and currently lead the nation in opponent red-zone scoring percentage. Again, say what you want about the schedule thus far, but the fact remains that we’re five games in and teams simply aren’t moving the ball against the Cavs.
To ice the cake, here are the remaining games for the Hoos:
@ UNC – October 14th (offense ranks 82nd)
vs Boston College – October 21st (offense ranks 118th)
@ Pitt – October 28th (offense ranks 88th)
vs GT – November 4th
@ Louisville – November 11th
@ Miami – November 18th
vs Virginia Tech – November 24th
When I look at their remaining games, I see five potential wins (that does not mean I believe UVA wins five more games). If they just pick up two of those, that puts the ‘Hoos at 6-6 and a bowl birth. Notice, three of the above games feature very below average offenses. UVA’s defensive dominance should continue and personally, I think they’re poised for a 7-5 season with an appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Considering Bronco Mendenhall is in his second season, getting the Cavs to a bowl game would be a huge momentum boost. Combine that with what appears to be a solid 2018 recruiting class, and this former bottom-feeder could start making serious moves in the conference.