Just ahead of training camp this week, the ACC released its preseason media poll. The Virginia Cavaliers have been ranked fourth in the ACC Coastal Division. The preseason rankings are influenced by a number of factors including the 2021 season’s final results. Coincidentally, the Hoos finished in fourth place for the 2021 season.
ACC Coastal Division: Fourth Place Finish Predicted
Virginia is uniquely positioned going into the 2022 season. Tony Elliott and his staff have been working diligently to develop talent on both sides of the ball. Virginia already has a lot of talent at quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker, and on the defensive line. There are lingering questions surrounding the secondary and the offensive line so a prospective fourth place finish makes sense for the Hoos-for now. It isn’t unreasonable to think the Cavs could fare better than a fourth place finish but a roster with the uncertainties of this one could also perform below expectations.
Currently, Virginia is ranked behind Miami, Pitt, and North Carolina. They are ranked ahead of Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Duke in the ACC Coastal Division preseason rankings.
Inexperience on the O-Line
The biggest question mark for Virginia right now is its inexperienced offensive line. The Cavs lost every 2021 starter from its offensive line but coach Tony Elliott is optimistic. The Hoos did retain talent from rosters past which is a plus; the downside is that the remaining players don’t have much experience. Elliott is aware of the need to develop depth to be able to keep Virginia’s starters from playing every snap. It seems the team is working to improve to make this a reality as quickly as possible.
Keytaon Thompson is Key To Cavs Success
If it is a universal truth that Band-Aids fix everything, then it is a 2022 truth that Keytaon Thompson is the band-aid of the Cavaliers offense. This season, the Cavs will be relying on Thompson heavily in the wide receiver position. For his part Thompson has responded to this responsibility the way he always does: by flourishing.
At last week’s ACC media kickoff event in Charlotte, Tony Elliott called Thompson an “extremely, extremely talented football player” with a sense of how to make plays that not every football player has. While Thompson needs to continue perfecting the technical aspect of the position, his size and versatility are tremendously beneficial.
ACC Coastal Division: Could the Cavs Do Better Than Fourth?
In addition to the versatile Thompson, the Cavs’ receiving core will form a formidable beast with Dontayvion Wicks, Lavel Davis Jr., Billy Kemp IV, and Malachi Thompson. If this already impressive lineup continues to improve under Elliott it could lead the Cavs on a better-than-anticipated run in 2022.
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