The Cavaliers recorded their third straight victory on Saturday, dispatching the Duke Blue Devils for the first time in three years. After 10 games, it's pretty easy to settle on a consistent top 5. At least it should be. For the second week in a row, we have a shake up to the 'Hoos Hot list - with Chase Minnifield sliding his way back into the fifth position as well as another Hoo moving into the second spot.
Perry Jones (Last Week - #1)
Jones continues to be the do-it-all kid for Virginia, adding punt return duties to his his already robust repertoire during the game on Saturday. With 74 rushing yards against Duke, Jones is now only 144 yards away from 1,000 rushing yards and a place in Virginia's record books. Perry is averaging just over 123 all-purpose yards per game. If there's a player out there that is more valuable to his team, I'd like to meet him.
Matt Conrath (Last Week - #4)
Conrath continues his rise up the 'Hoos Hot list with another superb performance last Saturday against the Duke Blue Devils, a game in which he led the 'Hoos in tackles with 9 (two of which for for loss), forced a fumble and blocked his third kick of the season. Conrath, along with Cam Johnson, now leads the Cavaliers with 10 tackles for loss. Not only his Matt having himself a heck of a senior campaign, but he is playing himself into a solid chance at the NFL next year. He garnered ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for his efforts, his second such honor this season.
Kevin Parks (Last Week - #2)
KP churned out a team-leading 78 yards on the ground against Duke, putting him over 600 rushing yards for the year. Of course, Parks has been stuck on the 7 touchdown mark since the 5th game of the season - leaving him 1 shy of the outright Virginia rushing touchdown record with only 2 games left to play.
Oday Aboushi (Last Week - #3)
Aboushi continues to lead the attack for a Virginia offensive line that is leading the way for a Virginia rushing attack that averages 188 yards per game while only giving up 8 sacks on the year. Of course, the real test begins on Saturday for Aboushi and his fellow mules as the Cavaliers will be going up against the nation's number 4 rushing defense in Tallahassee Saturday night.
Chase Minnifield (Last Week - 'Hoos Knocking)
I suppose Chase was angered at being dropped out of the Cavalier Top 5 last week, as he came through with a Herculean effort against Duke. Chase away came with the play of the game early in the third quarter, picking off Sean Renfree and racing 54 yard to the house - shifting the complexion of the game and giving the Cavaliers a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the evening. Chase had another pick that was called back on an iffy call and a bone-jarring hit late in the game that knocked loose what would have been a first-down catch. Chase was named as the ACC Defensive Back of the Week for his efforts.
Look 'Hoos Knocking
This week's 'Hoos Knocking list features a heap of Cavaliers who are nipping closely at the heels of the 5 guys above them. Mike Rocco just missed a second straight week in the top 5 due to a sterling effort from Chase Minnifield. Hoo else joins him this week?
Mike Rocco (Last Week - #5)
Rocco had another solid game for Virginia last Saturday, throwing for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns in the day. Mike made great decisions all day, frequently stepping up in the pocket and delivering a crisp pass - making great play with his 6 yard touchdown pass to Jay Mathis to open the game's scoring late in the first quarter. More importantly, Rocco protected the football. He did, however, twice miss receiver Darius Jennings for what would have been long touchdowns. He'll get another chance against the 'Noles this weekend.
Cam Johnson (Last Week - 'Hoos Knocking)
Cam Johnson had his best game since the thriller in Bloomington over 2 months ago, notching 2 tackles for loss and a big sack on the day. Virginia will need two big games from Johnson, as both FSU and VT feature big, mobile quarterbacks that will really test Virginia's defense. Giddy up.
[caption id="attachment_747" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Kris Burd found the end zone for the first time since the Cavaliers trip to Durham last year. Photo / Virginia Media Relations / Matt Riley"][/caption]
Kris Burd (Last Week - 'Hoos Knocking)
Kris Burd finally found the end zone against the Blue Devils, tiptoeing down the sideline 38 yards after making a spectacular over the shoulder catch for a touchdown. Burd now has 1,924 career receiving yards, placing him sixth all-time for the Cavaliers. More importantly, he's served as the security blanket for Virginia's quarterbacks this year.
Tim Smith (Last Week - 'Hoos Knocking)
Tim Smith had another solid performance last weekend, racking up 31 yards on two catches. Both catches came on first down plays and both came on drives that would result in touchdowns. He was, however, held out of the end zone for the first time in three games and will be looking to get back to pay dirt in prime time in ESPN2.
Steve Greer (Last Week - 'Hoos Knocking)
Steve Greer had another huge day for the Cavalier defense, leading Virginia in tackles along with Matt Conrath at 9 for the day. Greer now has 86 tackles on the year, leading the Cavaliers by 20. He will have a very difficult assignment on Saturday trying to contain FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel, but he has shown this year that he is up to the task.