Quick hits from Mike London's appearance on ACC coaches' teleconference
Virginia Coach Mike London spoke a short while ago in his weekly segment on the ACC coaches' teleconference. Not much in the way of news came out of it, though London did provide meager updates in a few areas of notes.
London said senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hamstring) and junior strong safety Rodney McLeod (knee) practiced Tuesday during a full-contact workout and that they would do so again this afternoon. As for whether either or both players will compete Saturday against Virginia Military Institute, that remains undetermined.
"We have guarded optimism with both of them, so we'll see here pretty soon about full-fledged incorporating them into the game plan," London said. "But right now, they're out there running and doing everything everybody else is doing."
As for the kicking game, London said the field goal unit "responded well" to recent practice tactics aimed at adding pressure to an operation the coach had deemed too slow in recent games. London has thrown a live rush, added noise and last-second timeouts at the unit in recent workouts in an attempt to simulate some of the pressures it will experience during games.
Virginia is one of two Division 1-A teams in the nation that have attempted more than one field goal this season and not converted any of them. Placekicker Robert Randolph is 0 for 3, and Chris Hinkebein, who handles kickoffs and long field goal attempts, is 0 for 1.
"I know Robert is itching to get back in there and just kick some field goals," London said. "He's 6 for 6 on extra points, and you look at the field goals, you know, you could say one thing or the other, but everyone contributed to the lack of success on that. But I think Robert now, in working with the holder and Danny Aiken, a veteran snapper, I think they'll be back on track."
In regards to Saturday's 1-AA opponent, London said he is not concerned about his team taking VMI lightly. The Keydets are 1-1, and had a bye week to recover from their last game -- a 45-0 loss Sept. 11 at William & Mary. The Cavaliers also are 1-1, though they had far more positivies to take out of their recent loss -- a 17-14 defeat Sept. 11 at Southern California.
"I'm not worried about this team taking VMI seriously, because this team, we haven't done anything yet," London said. "We're still trying to find out who we are. And every game, to us, is a must-win game. Every game, to us, is a game that you have to improve on, so we're in the process of trying to build that type of attitude where you expect winning to occur on a week(ly) basis."
| September 22, 2010; 11:16 AM ET
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