Team preview: Virginia

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


Yes, Virginia, you do have a fine football program.

With 25 wins and three bowl appearances the last three seasons, Al Groh has put the wah back in the Wahoos. Groh's well-publicized NFL coaching connections seem to annually help land promising recruits and he's delivering on his promise to send them to the next level.

In April, Virginia had a school-record seven players taken in the NFL draft. And that just may be the rub this season. While the Cavaliers lost only 10 starters, they said good-bye to a lot of big play guys.

Can the Cavs rebuild a front three (that's right, three, they're one of very few college teams with the pro-style 3-4 front) that lost two starters to the NFL? Find a difference-maker at outside linebacker like Darryl Blackstock, who left a year early for the NFL? Replace both starting safeties?

Find two new interior linemen, one to replace consensus All-American Elton Brown? Replace the offense's leading rusher and top three receivers, including college football's top tight end, Heath Miller?