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VMI coach would like to avoid 'catastrophe' against Virginia

Virginia Military Institute Coach Sparky Woods spoke on the Big South coaches' teleconference Tuesday morning and there seemed to be some resignation in his voice. Having coached at several different 1-A programs before, Woods is well aware of the steep challenge his 1-AA squad faces Saturday when the Keydets travel to Scott Stadium.

For both VMI and Virginia, then, this weekend's contest will be more about self-evaluation than about determining supremacy. Without explicitly saying so, Woods and Virginia Coach Mike London have implied that Saturday's outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Woods said he would like to see his team show improvement in its ball security, as well as its overall execution in all three phases of the game (offense, defense and special teams).

"A team as talented as (the Cavaliers) will certainly identify anywhere you fail to do that in your execution," Woods said. "Sometimes a catastrophe can happen as a result of that, so I'd like to avoid that. I'd like to be sound in what we do, sound in how we go about executing and go in there and play our very best football. We do that, and I'll feel good about what our team does."

Woods then was asked if he likes playing 1-A programs.

"I think it's a great opportunity for our school," Woods said. "I think it's a great opportunity for the young men to play in it. I like the money and all that, so I think all that's part of it. I think it's a necessary thing that we have to do. We see it as a positive. We see it as a great opportunity to play in a great atmosphere. I really appreciate the University of Virginia giving us an opportunity to come there and play, and so we want to take advantage of the opportunity we have. It's a different yard than we're going to play in most weeks, so I hope we stand up to it and play our best."

On the personnel front, Woods said redshirt junior tailback Julian Bowers (5-foot-11, 225 lbs.) continues to nurse a turf toe injury and that his availability for Saturday's game has not yet been determined. If Bowers -- a linebacker last season -- cannot play, senior Gabe Itoka (5-foot-6, 180 lbs.) will take his place in the lineup.

"We'd like to get him back and get him going at full speed," Woods said of Bowers. "I think it would help our team a lot. We're thin at tailback. We need to have him back."

By Steve Yanda  | September 21, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
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Next: Despite absence of two starters, Virginia secondary holding steady


I don't know why UVA would even schedule VMI. If you just had to have a 1-AA team you could beat, at least play someone like Norfolk State, or Liberty, teams which while they wouldn't pull an upset, they have enough athletes, that can challenge some of the things UVA might have troubles with which in turn can make them better.

Anything less than 60 points should be looked at as disappointing, and this game will do nothing to prepare the Hoos for FSU next weekend.

Posted by: dccavalier | September 24, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

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