September 5, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Matt Johns (15) throws against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia lost last year’s starter Greyson Lambert to transfer. He went on to play for the Georgia Bulldogs where currently starts. Matt Johns is the man at the helm of the Cavaliers’ offense, and he’ll have to carry the team and coach London’s futures on his shoulders this season.
In his first game, he played decently well completing 60% of his passes against UCLA. He accumulated 238 yards along with throwing a touchdown and an interception. For not having a strong receiving corp, he did well in finding his backs for short passes, but he’ll need to push his receivers to play significantly better against Notre Dame’s daunting defense. I doubt he’ll be able to rely on just his backs to help Virginia pull out the upset victory at home. There still isn’t much to say on whether he’s the right guy to lead the Cavaliers back to a winning season because he’s only played one game this season, but based off of his experience last season, where he passed for 1,109 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions, I’m not convinced he’ll be any better against Notre Dame’s defense.
If the Irish can get similar pressure on Johns as they did against Swoopes, there’s not much hope for the Virginia offense Saturday.
The similarity between Virginia and Texas is clear. They’re both teams that lack experience both on offense and defense, so if we’re going solely off of that, expect a similar result Saturday for Notre Dame.