I love the helmet stripes. All of 'em. Love 'em. The meaning behind it, everything. LOVE THEM.
I also love the gray facemasks. (What I hate is when people spell gray with an E. "Grey." Give me a fucking break.) Bronco's reasoning for the gray facemask was also kinda cool. I dig it. I'm buying in.
I love the choice of the orange-in-blue V-sabres for the white helmet and the white-in-blue V-sabres for the orange helmet. Very sharp.
The sleeve stripes on the blue unis are fantastic.
The big, thick, bold pants stripes are all good.
White pants for everything, fantastic. Classic. (I'm a person who tends to like monochrome unis, but I also understand the need to be traditional and classic with the white pants.)
The all-white away uniforms, top to bottom, are probably my favorite UVA uniforms ever. No hyperbole. They're just friggin awesome.
Things I don't love as much:
Reversing the colors of the V-sabres on the blue helmet. Someone on the 247 message board said the orange-in-white V-sabres looked very "Wal-Mart" to them. Like a cheap knock-off of the original white-in-orange jam. I disagreed at the time, but the more I look at these, the more I can kind of agree. I give zero fucks about Matt Welsh's original design and what that means, and I do think the orange-in-white pops a bit more against the navy blue background, but... yeah... it's going to take some getting used to. The white-in-orange against a blue background is the logo we have seen the most, by far, so it's jarring to see it reversed like this.
Speaking of reversed, I'm not sure why the helmet number has a reversed number-outline as the logo on the other side of the helmet. That seems kind of weird to me. Not sure if I like it, but I think I like it. Yeah, I think I'm convincing myself that I like it, right now, while you're reading this.
Numbers on the helmets, in general. It's Alabama derivative. It's also unique without being gaudy, which is something new for college football helmets in 2016. So while the jury's out, I don't think it will be long before I decide that I do, in fact, like the numbers on the helmets.
The sleeve stripes on the blue unis are fantastic, but where are the sleeve stripes on the orange and white unis? Jeez, man.
No outlines for the white numbers on the blue unis. Makes 'em look kinda cheap to me. Maybe a little bit too throwbacky.
Part of me wishes we'd just punt the orange unis altogether. They're already very Clemson-ish. We don't need alternates, anyway. [Based on what Bronco said] I assume we'll wear those once a year, for the 'Paint the Town Orange' game. Okay, fine, whatever. I just wish we'd wear blue at home and white away. Or better yet, white all the time. (I really do love the whites.)
No word on socks. Assuming white socks, but we'll see. I hate not knowing!
My overall new uni grade: B. Falls just short of a B+. I like 'em... a lot. There are just too many little issues that I can't say that I totally love them.
You can see them HERE.
Guys I'm expecting we'll see earn a number this week:
- Jordan Mack
- Bryce Hall
- Joe Reed
- Hasise Dubois
- Naji Abdullah
- Trenton Jenkins
- Ben Knutson
- Dillon Reinkensmeyer
- Dominic Sheppard
It can be found HERE!
Some quick notes...
- WR Andre Levrone is still hurt, and not listed on the depth chart for the U of R game.
- Ditto, sadly, OLB Malcolm Cook, who's out with a 'medical condition' that we hope is not serious. Cook was a popular pick for breakout player of the year.
- With Levrone out, I was expecting Dowling, Zaccheaus, Eldridge, and Craft to be the starting wideouts. Keeon Johnson bumped Eldridge to the second line, which was a mild surprise.
- Also a surprise is walk-ons Ben Hogg and Ryan Santoro along with TE-convert Tanner Cowley on the depth chart, but no Joe Reed or Hasise Dubois. I know the true freshmen still have to earn their numbers, but I was certain that Reed and Dubois were safely going to be listed today.
- I like the specific SB (speed back) and BB (big back) designations, though I think Jordan Ellis is badly miscast as a speed back. Dude's a grinder!
- No Sean Karl on the two-deep! Is he hurt, off the team, what? In any case, I'm elated to see Jake Fieler starting at LG. I honestly think we'll be putting our best five OL on the field in our first drive against Richmond.
- 13 starting spots listed on offense, so it remains to be seen what kind of formation(s) we'll be using. I think it's safe to say we'll flex between 1-0 (one back, zero tight ends, four wide), 2-0 (two backs, zero tights, three wide), and 1-1 (one back, one tight, three wide) to keep defenses on their toes while spreading the field.
- I'm excited about Warren Craft earning a starting spot, by the way. This guy has some real physical talent... and four seasons to play!
- Ditto Steven Wright at defensive end! Although, I fully expected to see [fellow RS-Fr.] Eli Hanback starting at that spot.
- [Freshman safety] Jordan Mack seems to have transitioned to outside linebacker. Cool. He still needs to earn his number, though... like the rest of the true freshmen.
- I already mentioned Malcolm Cook, above, but I'll mention him again. If he's out for any amount of time, it's a big, big loss for this defense. I have faith in Cory Jones and Chris Peace, but a guy with the speed and explosiveness of Cook could really help this D play at another level.
- Middle linebacker is our best position, top to bottom. Even better than running back.
- Say hello to the 'Sabre' position! It's the same thing as BYU's 'KAT' position, which is to say... glorified strong safety but with more in-the-box responsibility when the defense flexes to a 3-3-5 look. (Kelvin Rainey, by the way, is perfect for that in-the-box role. I'm really excited about him this season.)
- Juan Thornhill starting at field corner is not a surprise, but Myles Robinson at boundary corner IS a surprise. Looks like Tim Harris' shoulder injury isn't quite healed. Meanwhile, I was under the impression that Darious Latimore, Kareem Gibson, and Bryce Hall were all working ahead of Robinson... Either way, I think we'll see what this quintet of youngsters (Thornhill / Robinson / Lat / Gibson / Hall) can do at corner, which is exciting!
- Given all of the specific positions named on offense, I'm surprised 'NB' [nickelback] doesn't make an appearance on the defensive depth chart. As such, Kirk Garner doesn't see his name on there, though I think we know he's going to play and play a lot.
- Looks like Dylan Sims won the kicking competition. Yawn. I was hoping that [true freshman] Nash Griffin would take that job and give us the possibility of a four-year kicker.
- Matt Johns is the holder! Holding out hope that he throws at least one touchdown this season on a trick play.
- Bradshaw is pulling duty at the Buck (weakside inside linebacker) and... LONG-SNAPPER? Wow. (Incumbent LS Tyler Shirley failed to meet academic requirements to play this season.)
- Daniel Hamm returning punts. Me likey. Wish we could see who the kick returners are. My guess is Hamm/Mizzell.
- Oh, hey, in case you need help with any of the new abbreviations used on this depth chart, here you go...
- WR(X) = "The X receiver is the split end. He is the widest receiver away from the tight end. What's unique about him, -- as opposed to the Z receiver, who is the flanker, and the other wide receiver -- is that the X receiver, in most formations, and of course, there are a lot of exceptions, but in most formations, the X receiver, the split end -- and those expressions are used synonymously -- he is tethered to the line of scrimmage."
"He's on the line of scrimmage, he cannot go in motion, and so, when he's facing a cornerback, as he almost always is, the cornerback can jam him at the line. So, your X receiver, he better have the profile of a guy that has the speed to get down the sideline, he better have the quickness to get away from the corner, and he better be good coming off a press."
"In almost all routes, that corner has him in man-to-man. Now, if he runs a shallow cross and it's zone, then the corner will let him go, but most routes up the field, that corner's going to be covering the wide receiver, man-to-man. Now, who is a corner? In the NFL, the corner is the guy on the playground, when you play tag, that always won. He's got that great agility. He is the cheetah running down the gazelle on the Serengeti. The corner is the best athlete on the football field, and I'll even include receivers and running backs, in that group, because think about the skillset for a cornerback. He doesn't have to have great hand-eye coordination. He just has to be able to follow you. And, so those guys are hard to beat, and particularly for an X receiver, if he's getting a jam on you, you gotta have that ability to get off the line of scrimmage."
This is why the question exists as to whether or not a receiver that has had success on the inside, in the slot, can easily move to the outside. It's not just a matter of running different routes.
- WR(Y) = The wide receiver who lines up, in-line, where a tight end would go in a more traditional set. Think of it in terms of being a bigger slot receiver. This player lines up on what is the strong side of the offense, generally beside the right tackle.
- WR(H) = Pure slot, baby.
- WR(Z) = "Now, the Z receiver, the 'flanker,' who is on the opposite side of the split end, he, in most formations, is going to be off the line of scrimmage a few yards. That enables the tight end to be eligible, because if the Z receiver were on the line, it would make the tight end ineligible. That flanker, that Z receiver -- and again, those terms are synonymous --that is still a wide receiver. He's going against cornerbacks, he has to be able to have the speed and the acceleration to beat cornerbacks, but, from time-to-time, you can run him in motion because he's off the line of scrimmage, you can get him down in the slot and run for passes over the middle, so, there's a little bit of the characteristics of a slot receiver inherent in the Z receiver. But, by and large, those guys are much different than the slot receiver."
- SB = Speed back.
- BB = Big back.
- NT = Nose tackle. (In a 3-4 defense, otherwise known as an "odd front," there is one defensive tackle. That player is known as the nose tackle.)
- SLB = Strongside, or "Sam," outside linebacker. That's the side with a tight end.
- MLB = Strongside, or "Mike," inside linebacker.
- BLB = Weakside, or "Buck," inside linebacker. That's the side without a tight end.
- WLB = Weakside, or "Will," outside linebacker. This is where Malcolm Cook would be starting if he were available.
- FC = Field corner. This is the corner who plays the wider side of the field, with more ground to cover.
- SABRE = Strong safety, basically. There's some special amount of honor to playing this position in Bronco's defense. (Be excited about the future of the position, with sparkly RS-Fr. Chris Sharp in reserve.)
- BC = Boundary corner. This is the corner who plays the narrow side of the field.
Say goodbye to:
Say goodbye to:
And say hello (again) to:
My take is pretty simple: Ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I hate those fucking diamond endzones. Hate! Reminds me of the suckitude of the second half of the Al Groh era, like homefield losses to Western Michigan and William & Mary.
I wish we could just go really old school with the endzones, and do this:
Just a big-ass, blue VIRGINIA. Fuck it.
But whatever, if Bronco wants it, Bronco gets it.
OTHER GAMEDAY CHANGES
Say goodbye to:
Say goodbye to:
- The Wahoo Walk -- Did anyone ever go to that, anyway? Not gonna miss it.
- Adventures of CavMan -- GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE. And this coming from a father of an 8-year old and a 5-year old. Turns out, kids don't like dumb 1996-style computer animation, either.
- $5 Programs -- As in, the programs are free again. Hallelujah.
- New Concessions Offerings -- Fine, yeah, whatever. Is the water still going to cost me $3.50?
Bring on the new season, baby.