CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WNDU) - Virginia is the 18th ranked team in the country and a good amount of the Cavaliers success in 2019 has a lot to do with the Hoos defense.
Right now, Virginia has the nation's 14th best defense, with a primary strength of stopping the run.
However, Virginia knows if they want to win this game on Saturday, they will have to shut down Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book.
"The quarterback," Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "That's what I noticed right off this morning is how quickly plays and defenses are diagnosed, how fast the ball is out, how effective once he pulls down to run it and then just the competitive spirit that he has."
In terms of Quarterback Rating in 2019, Ian Book ranks 36th in the country with a 70.5 QBR but Virginia knows Book brings more to the table.
In the 4th quarter over the past 12 games, Ian Books leads all FBS quarterbacks with a 194.6 passer rating. The national average passer rating is just over 127.
Book has been very consistent this season completing around 60 percent of his passes in each game. Book has also thrown eight touchdown passes in his three starts this season, which is almost half of the 19 total touchdowns he threw a season ago.
Virginia knows shutting down Book will be no easy task as they have the ultimate respect for the Notre Dame signal caller.
"What doesn't he do well?," Virginia co-defensive coordinator Kelly Poppinga said. "That's the question. He is great at getting out of the pocket. Throwing the ball. Very strong arm. Very instinctive. Very athletic. We've got our hands full. It's not anything different than what we've seen from Bryce [Perkins] but [Perkins] is a handful in practice. I would say it's similar to Bryce and how we've got the defend him."