Paul Johnson: Virginia ‘better team than people think’

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 24:  Quin Blanding #3 and Kelvin Rainey #38 of the Virginia Cavaliers tackle Marquise Williams #12 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Kenan Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Virginia is 2-5 but, like Georgia Tech, has played one of the most competitive schedules in the country. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

As Georgia Tech made its way through a most treacherous stretch of its schedule and lost five games in a row, coach Paul Johnson often pointed out the quality of the Yellow Jackets’ opposition. He made the same observation Tuesday about Virginia, Tech’s opponent Saturday.

“I was telling our team after the (practice Tuesday) that they’ve lost to three of the same teams we have and the other two are UCLA and Boise State, who are good teams,” Johnson said.

Virginia is 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the ACC. The three losses the Cavaliers have in common with Tech are Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.

Tech’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 6 by the Sagarin ratings. Virginia’s is ranked No. 7. Johnson noted a number of highly-recruited players on the roster who have experience playing against Tech, notably safety Quin Blanding, defensive tackle Andrew Brown and running back Taquan Mizzell.

“They’ve got a bunch of guys who are pretty talented,” Johnson said. “They’ve played a pretty good schedule, as well as been in most of the games. So they’re a better team than people think.”

The combined record of Tech’s most recent six opponents – Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Florida State – is 37-5. The Jackets lost to the first five and upset Florida State last Saturday.


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