Keys to the Game

Saturday, October 20, 2007

WHEN THE CAVALIERS HAVE THE BALL: Virginia quarterback Jameel Sewell has proven he is at his best when it matters most. During Virginia's last two drives the past two weeks, which both resulted in game-winning field goals, Sewell has gone a combined 8 of 9 for 117 yards. The rest of the game, however, is another story. Prior to the deciding drive, Sewell has gone 28 of 52 for 256 yards with three interceptions, two of which were nearly crippling. "We clearly have to get those out of our system," Groh said. On a larger stage and against perhaps Virginia's toughest opponent yet this season, Sewell might not be able to wait until the end of the game. Groh is most concerned with Maryland's two defensive tackles, Dre Moore and Carlos Feliciano. "They're the two stoutest guys together that we've played against in there," Groh said. "Those kind of guys always create issues as far as getting movement."

WHEN THE TERRAPINS HAVE THE BALL: Chris Turner will face perhaps his toughest challenge yet against Virginia's front seven, headlined by defensive end Chris Long. Maryland's offensive line injuries will make protecting Turner even more difficult. If Turner has time, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey could make the difference, particularly if Virginia cornerback Chris Cook (knee) can't play. Groh called Heyward-Bey the best big-play receiver in the ACC.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Virginia punt returner Vic Hall has struggled with both catching punts and gauging whether to call for a fair catch, but Groh maintained Hall is fine and that the blocking in front has been more of an issue. If the game is close, field goal kickers Obi Egekeze and Chris Gould could find themselves in the spotlight. Maryland's Egekeze is 5 for 9 this year; Gould is 10 of 12.

COACHES: Groh found himself on one of the hottest seats in the country after Virginia lost its season opener at Wyoming in listless fashion. Six wins later, his team can tie the school record winning streak at seven. Ralph Friedgen has never lost to Virginia in College Park.

-- Adam Kilgore

© 2007 The Washington Post Company