After struggling through a 4-8 season in 2012, head coach Mike London made sweeping changes to his coaching staff of the Virginia Cavaliers, including bringing on a new defensive coordinator in Jon Tenuta. The new defensive leader is bringing a more aggressive approach to the defense for 2013, working to create havoc in offensive backfields with active defensive fronts. After the Cavaliers’ spring game, it appears that he is getting some good results, particularly from senior defensive tackle Brent Urban.
The 6-foot-7, 280-pound Canadian senior has had a nice career with UVA. Over the last two seasons, he’s played in every game and recorded 36 tackles, including six tackles for loss and three sacks. Last year, he recorded 20 tackles, 2.5 for loss and two of those sacks and even put a 16-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown on his highlight reel. He has been a steady presence in the middle of a mediocre Virginia defense, but he appears ready to do more in 2013.
Urban broke out during the scrimmage, recording 3.5 sacks on the day and looking extremely active on the defensive front. That’s as many sacks as Virginia’s leading sack-man of 2012, Chris Brathwaite, had all of last season. He led the team as the defense recorded 14 “sacks” during the spring game, which is a huge improvement for a team that accounted for just 17 sacks in all of 2012.
If Virginia hopes to improve on their last place finish in the ACC Coastal Division from 2012, they will need their defense to be much more disruptive with sacks and turnovers. If Urban can carry his performance from the spring game over into next fall, the Cavaliers may have found the key to accomplishing that.