<big>Virginia takes another step forward,  but should fall short of bowl eligibility</big>
 


THE MILESTONE

U.Va. hasn't won a game in November since its 48-0 victory at No. 23 Miami in 2007 – a span of 14 games. Though U.Va. plays November games this season at Maryland, at Florida State and against Virginia Tech, Duke also comes Nov. 12 to Charlottesville. The Blue Devils have won three straight against the Cavaliers, but U.Va. won't find a better shot at snapping that frustrating losing streak. Hey, goals need to be modest in Charlottesville for now.

THE COACH

MIKE LONDON

Second year at U.Va. (4-8 at U.Va.; 28-13 overall, including two seasons at Richmond)

The formula for a culture change is in place with London's emphasis on in-state recruiting, particularly in Hampton Roads. It may take a little more time for on-field results to emerge, but the program appears headed in the proper direction under the Bethel High and Richmond graduate. Getting the most out of a bunch of baby faces at key spots on offense, and rebuilding a porous rush defense, will be his biggest obstacles this season.

THE STANDOUTS

CHASE MINNIFIELD

Sr. | 6-0 | 185 | CB

After picking up first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors last fall with a season that featured six interceptions (fifth in the nation), the expectations for Minnifield are through the roof this season. He's projected by some draft gurus to be first-round pick material, but he may have limited opportunities to prove himself this season. Considering U.Va. may have true freshman Tra Nicholson starting at its other cornerback, Minnifield may not see as many passes come his direction this season.

KRIS BURD

Sr. | 5-11 | 195 | WR

Though he's not even in the top 15 for career receptions at U.Va., he could catapult as high as second if he gets close to duplicating last season's effort (58 catches for 799 yards; 96 career receptions, which is 48 behind U.Va. career No. 2 Heath Miller's 144). Of course, Burd's production will depend a lot on U.Va.'s stability at quarterback, which is an enormous question mark.

CAM JOHNSON

Sr. | 6-4 | 265 | DE

Speaking of mysteries, it's fair to wonder exactly how much U.Va. will get out of Johnson this season. Last month, at the ACC Football Kickoff event, London revealed Johnson suffers from sickle cell trait, which makes it nearly impossible for Johnson to play for long stretches. When he's healthy and energized, Johnson can be a devastating force, as evidenced by his 14.5 tackles for loss last season.

THE STORYLINES

QUARTERBACK QUANDARY