The Virginia Cavaliers have struggled to get on track under Mike London, but are hopeful that will change in 2013. They have questions in several key areas heading into 2013, most notably at quarterback, which makes their returning starters even more important. Leading rusher Kevin Parks is back for his junior season. Can he take his game to the next level?
Last season, Parks gained 734 yards on 160 carries with five touchdowns. It was pretty much the same stat line he posted as a freshman in 2011 when he rushed for 709 yards on 152 carries but he found the end zone more often, scoring nine times on the ground. 2012 saw Parks yards per carry average drop as well from 4.7 in 2011 to 4.6 in 2012.
In 2013, Parks has to make significant improvements in his game and take his numbers to the next level if Virginia hopes to make waves in the ACC next season. His contributions will be even more important because of the mess at the quarterback position with nothing but inexperienced and underwhelming options for the No. 1 quarterback job.
That means that the running game will take the lead for the Virginia offense next season and that puts the pressure on Parks to elevate his play. If he turns in just another performance like the ones that he has the last few seasons, the Cavaliers’ offense will spin its wheels. That will make it near impossible for Virginia to turn things around in the win column.
Parks holds the key for Virginia’s fortunes next fall and his ability to produce in the running game will be the key to how far the Cavaliers go in 2013.