Monday, September 12, 2005

Injury Bug Looks to Pester UVA

No one said football glory would come easy. The Virginia Cavaliers football team rolls into Syracuse this weekend, hoping that two of its biggest names will be able to take the field against the 1-1 Orange. No one can ever truly prepare for an injury, and for the Cavaliers it seems to have been an unfortunate trend. Two years ago, starting quarterback Matt Schaub went down in the season opener against Duke. His absence though short lived, directly contributed to a loss to the Gamecocks of South Carolina the following week. Last year saw star defensive end Chris Canty taken out against this same Syracuse team for the season. His loss required a severe restructuring of Al Groh's 3-4 defense and was one of the reasons UVA was unable to capture that elusive ACC championship.

This year the injuries are two fold, and affect both sides of the ball. On offense, its the ankle of senior running back Wali Lundy. Lundy went out early in the Western Michigan game, his absence marked a severe turning point in the game where a rout turned into a game "too close for comfort". Also uncomfortable is the situation with junior linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Brooks is the heart and soul of the Virginia defense, and after off season surgery has been seldom seen or heard. If Brooks plays in the Syracuse game, it's not even certain whether he can still be the dynamic playmaker he was such a year ago.

The fact is Virginia cannot afford a season without these two stars. With the exception of Marques Hagans, they are the two most important ingredients to a recipe for success. With Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech on the horizon, Virginia will need all the help it can get. This weekend will tell us alot about the conditions these two stars are in, and perhaps the future of the Cavalier's season.

Let's just hope it's what we want to hear.


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