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Virginia defense features three new starters, large rotation

The Virginia defense featured three new starters Saturday night during the Cavaliers' 48-21 win over Eastern Michigan. Redshirt freshman Jake Snyder started at left defensive end in place of redshirt junior Zane Parr, fifth-year senior Darnell Carter started at middle linebacker in place of redshirt junior Aaron Taliaferro and redshirt junior Dom Joseph started at free safety in place of redshirt junior Corey Mosley.

However, Virginia rotated in a large number of players on defense frequently throughout the game, particularly among the three linebacker positions. Taliaferro and sophomore Steve Greer each logged a significant number of snaps. At one point early in the second quarter, Carter, Greer and Taliaferro were lined up on the field at the same time.

"It’s Coach (Mike) London’s feeling that if there’s players that work hard that can help you win, then you know, why should you have three linebackers always playing if you can play five or six and they can help you win?" Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid said. "And then in the fourth quarter, you have a little bit more that you can play with."

Sophomore Devin Wallace started his sixth game at cornerback in place of senior Ras-I Dowling, who continues to nurse a right knee injury. Dowling was on the field for one three-play defensive series late in the first quarter, but did not return to the game after that. London said afterward that he could not provide an update on Dowling's status.

By Steve Yanda  | October 23, 2010; 10:52 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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