Virginia defensive tackle Brent Urban said the last time it was measured, his wing span was 6-foot-10. (To give some perspective, nobody on the Cavaliers’ roster is taller than 6-foot-7.)
So when it comes to handling Georgia Tech’s cut blocks on Saturday, Urban isn’t too concerned.
“I have long arms, so I can get down there and take care of that,” he said.
The Hoos will need his help if they’re going to be as effective on the interior line against the spread option offense as they were a year ago in the 24-21 win over the Jackets. Virginia entered this season having to replace senior starting defensive tackles Matt Conrath and Nick Jenkins, who combined for 16 tackles last year against Georgia Tech. Urban made the switch from defensive end to tackle prior to the start of training camp and said he’s more comfortable in his role now.
Virginia will be playing its first league and road game of the season, while Georgia Tech is trying to avoid an 0-2 start in the Coastal Division.
“I think we’ll be really prepared,” Urban said. “Our scout team has been giving us good looks at practice and we went over some of this stuff during training camp, so we should be ready. Obviously we have a big part to play, just getting our hands on their helmets as far as the amount of cut blocking they do. That will be one of the major things we have to get done on Saturday.”
They excelled at it a year ago.
Virginia held Paul Johnson’s offense to 296 yards last year. Their game plan was to force quarterback Tevin Washington to keep the ball and be the difference. Instead, Virginia’s defensive line and linebacker Steve Greer were the difference.
It could be the same again. Greer, who had 10 tackles last year against Georgia Tech, is coming off a career-high 15 tackles in a win over Penn State. Greer said the defensive performance in the win over Penn State showed its resiliency.
“We did some of that last season and I think every part of our program is geared towards that,” he said after the game. “No matter what, we’re no easy out. If we stay focused and give 110 percent every play, good things will happen.”