Virginia HC: Trevor Lawrence point of reference for D’Eriq King

Speaking about preparing to play the Miami Hurricanes and quarterback D’Eriq King, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said playing against Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence gave the Cavaliers a helpful point of reference.

Miami Hurricanes quarterback D’Eriq King provides a challenge as a dual-threat for any opposing defense. Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall stated this week that playing against Clemson and Trevor Lawrence earlier this season provides the Cavaliers with a point of reference on how to defend King.

Lawrence and King provide different styles. Lawrence is 6’6 220. King is listed at 5’11, 203 pounds. King is closer to 5’9. Lawrence has completed 73 percent of his passes for 1,544 yards, 15 touchdowns and one interception while rushing for 54 yards and four TDs. King is not Lawrence but can be more dynamic.

D’Eriq King has completed 59.2 percent of his passes this season for 1,076 yards, 10 TDs with four interceptions and 273 rushing yards and two TDs. The speed and athleticism that King brings at QB challenges most defenses. Lawrence was 25-38 for 329 yards and three TDs and ran six times for 36 yards against Virginia.

King should be able to eclipse the rushing yards that Virginia allowed Lawrence. Virginia also allowed North Carolina State QB Devin Leary to run four times for 29 yards. The opportunities to run for King should be there against Virginia. Mendenhall discussed Virginia’s approach for defending King and how he compares to Lawrence.

“Having already seen Trevor Lawrence, and even though he’s a different type of runner. He’s fast, and he’s a great athlete. And so that at least gives us a point of reference that’s helpful.

This is a different, different quarterback, different style but still really athletic so we have one point of reference how we manage it in practice, we’re still working on that which is kind of what Monday’s are for.”

After facing the best and eighth run defenses in yards per carry the last two weeks against Pittsburgh and Clemson, Miami will play a less stout defense against the run in Virginia this week. The Cavaliers are 24th allowing 3.57 yards per carry. Virginia is 36th nationally allowing 136.5 rushing yards per game.

The Virginia pass defense has been more lenient than their run defense. Virginia is 56th allowing 277 passing yards per game and 64th allowing 8.5 yards per attempt. King should have opportunities for big plays in the passing game. Virginia is 67th nationally allowing 21 pass plays of 20 yards or more.

The Cavaliers are 71st out of 77 teams with 12 pass plays allowed of 30 yards or more. Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is likely to continue being creative to put the Hurricanes playmakers in space. King and the Miami offense should have an opportunity for big plays against Virginia.