CHARLOTTESVILLE, AUG. 11 -- You're Virginia football coach George Welsh. Your team finished 3-8 overall and 2-5 (tied for sixth) in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season.

You have seven starters returning on offense. You have an experienced quarterback, two quality receivers and two quality running backs. But your main worry is the offensive line.

You have nine starters back on defense, but last year that unit allowed per game averages of 28.6 points and 415.8 total yards, 246.9 of that rushing. And your main worry is the offensive line.

What do you say on media day?

If you're George Welsh, you say: "I can't see us being a contender to win the conference championship. That might be beyond our reach. I think we have the capabilities of winning six {games} and having a winning season again. I think that's within our reach and that's the only goal -- not that I talk much beyond that anyway."

Or need to.

"We're going to have to get back in that winning mode," said senior defensive end and second-year captain Sean Scott, a graduate of Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria. "I came in here and in my first year we went to the Peach Bowl. Things were great. Football was fun. Last year, it was embarrassing. It was no fun. There was no excitement. If anything, I'm going to use that to my advantage this year. I've worked hard all summer long and I want to do my personal best to change things . . . I think that's the whole team's approach."

However, as Scott, Virginia's 1986 defensive player of the year, added: "I can talk excited and pumped up and ready to go right now, but we've got 14 days of camp left."

Then, the Cavaliers have games at Georgia Sept. 5 and Maryland Sept. 12.

"We're going to try to be the best team we can possibly be and win the opening games," Welsh said, "but I think we have a chance to be a better team as the season goes on."

Five players who almost assuredly will be behind any improvement are quarterback Scott Secules, who last year played in nine games and threw 146 passes as Don Majkowski's understudy; receivers Keith Mattioli and John Ford, and running backs Kevin Morgan and Durwin Greggs.

"Oh, so we're getting together a stud photo?" Mattioli playfully asked as a photographer assembled him, Secules, Ford and Morgan. Mattioli and Secules, fifth-year seniors from Chantilly High School, were particularly pleased to be included.

Mattioli, a 1984 walk-on who lettered in '85 despite catching no passes, last year had 44 to lead the Cavaliers and rank third in the ACC. He was named Virginia's offensive player of the year.

Mattioli's possession-type style is complemented by Ford's home run style. After two varsity seasons, he is fifth on Virginia's all-time receiving yardage list and tied for first in touchdown receptions.

Morgan, also a junior, was third on the Cavaliers in both receiving and rushing. Greggs, from McNamara High School, was the Cavaliers' freshman of the year last season, leading the team in rushing with 404 yards, 370 of which he gained in the last four games.