Hoos Looking For Toughness To Run Ball

By: HANK KURZ Jr. - AP Sports Writer
By: HANK KURZ Jr. - AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild says "toughness" and "attitude" are the characteristics a team must have to run the football effectively, and the Cavaliers couldn't agree more.

Virginia finished 98th in the Bowl Subdivision last season with an average of 128.5 rushing yards per game. It averaged 3,7 yards per carry, and converted just 36.5 percent of its third-down chances.

Leading rusher Kevin Parks says the team's inability to count on the ground game led to an emphasis on throwing the ball, and that the running game has to earn the coaches' trust this season.

Fairchild says developing toughness is important not only to keep an offense balanced, but because there's a moment in every game in which you have to make a yard or get a critical first down.

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