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Despite his struggles, Devin Wallace 'still wants to challenge players'

Sophomore cornerback Devin Wallace has started five of six games for Virginia this season while senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling has missed time due to various injuries. The unexpectedly enlarged role in the Cavaliers defense has enabled Wallace to gain valuable experience, but it also has exposed him during moments he'd rather forget.

Wallace (Friendly High) missed a tackle on what turned out to be a 70-yard touchdown run by Florida State during an Oct. 2 loss. There were passes completed over his head Saturday against North Carolina. But without fail, Coach Mike London said, Wallace remains accountable and eager to atone for his mistakes.

"He's a guy that says, 'Listen, Coach, I messed up. Keep giving me opportunities. Keep giving me chance,'" London said. "That's the one thing you like about a corner(back). Sometimes you put them out on an island to guard a guy one-on-one, and some guys want to play off, some guys want to play on him, and Devin is that kind of guy that still wants to challenge players. That is the kind of mind-set that you want to have your players have."

London did not provide an update on the knee injury that caused Dowling to miss Saturday's loss to North Carolina, other than to say he would "see how Ras-I is this week in practice." Dowling missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury.

In Dowling's absence, Wallace has tallied 18 tackles and two pass break-ups.

By Steve Yanda  | October 18, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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