Offensive linemen often don’t receive much public attention unless it’s in regards to a penalty or a quarterback sack for which they were responsible. And on the Virginia football team, whatever praise is offered to the Cavaliers’ offensive line typically is directed at right tackle Morgan Moses or right guard Austin Pasztor.
But on Tuesday, fifth-year senior center Anthony Mihota was recognized as the ACC’s offensive lineman of the week after Mihota tallied 16 knockdown blocks in 67 snaps during Virginia’s 40-3 win Saturday over FCS William & Mary. The Cavaliers recorded 240 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Tribe and held nearly a 15-minute advantage in time of possession.
“I think (16 knockdown blocks) is an outstanding statistic for a center,” Virginia Coach Mike London said Wednesday during his segment of the ACC coaches’ teleconference. “I think he has benefited from (strength and conditioning) Coach (Evan) Marcus in the weight room, gotten bigger, stronger. I think his technique has improved, which has allowed him to get guys in the proper blocking position.”
Mihota – who started 11 games last season – was whistled for one holding call Saturday, but overall, London was pleased with the center’s performance.
“For a lineman to have that many knockdowns and grade out technically well, you expect that out of an older guy,” London said. “It’s good to see that between Morgan and Austin and all the accolades and attention that they get, that the guy that snaps the ball and touches it 100 percent of the time also has an accomplishment.”