Q&A With UVA Beat Reporter Greg Madia

Image courtesy of UVA Athletics

By Bennett Conlin and Jack Fitzpatrick

We recently caught up with Greg Madia, the UVA sports beat reporter at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Virginia. Greg previously worked at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, covering JMU’s athletic programs.

Madia follows the Virginia football program on a daily basis, and he’s as knowledgable as anyone when it comes to the 2023 Cavaliers. Here’s a snippet of our conversation, with the full Q&A available on our YouTube page.

JMU football plays at UVA on Sept. 9. Kickoff is set for noon ET, with the game airing on ESPNU.

UVA’s Quarterback Situation

Jack: What can JMU fans expect for UVA’s game against Tennessee, but then also the game against JMU, when [QB] Tony Muskett takes that first snap under center?

Greg: It’ll be interesting. As soon as he came to Virginia — he arrived in from Monmouth in January — he was kind of atop the depth chart there. It appeared he’d be the favorite to win the job, but would have to battle for it to get it.

In the spring there was — I don’t even know if you can call it a battle — there was a little bit of a competition when Jay Woolfolk was able to participate in football. At the time, Jay Woolfolk was still trying to do both football and baseball. He’s a star reliever for the baseball team, and he pitched really, really well.

He’s awesome. I cover baseball, too. You see 97 on the gun with the fastball and then a wipeout slider, you know he’s got a pretty good shot in baseball. He actually made the decision over the summer to just focus on baseball, which took himself out of the quarterback competition, obviously.

Muskett, clear-cut starter at that point … I think what you’re getting is somebody with experience, albeit at the FCS level at Monmouth. Played really, really well there for three seasons, which included a shortened COVID season that spring year that JMU played in too. He played that spring for Monmouth.

51 touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions in his three seasons there. Two-time All-Big South player … Monmouth moved up to the CAA a year ago. He had told me he thought that was good for his development. A little bit tougher competition in the CAA than the Big South.

Now he’s making another jump from the CAA to the Power Five and the ACC … As far as how he’ll perform, it’s as good a question as there is.

UVA’s 2023 expectations

Bennett: What’s a successful season for UVA? They do have some talent, they do have question marks. Are they thinking it’s a bowl season for them or is the goal just to make some steady progress in Year 2 of Tony Elliott?

Greg: I think they’ll take progress. The players would love to make a bowl game, though. That’s the goal for any college program, right? Outside of Alabama and Georgia, which have sights set on national championships and it’s realistic for those programs to have their sights set on national championships.

For most college football programs, it’s competing for a conference title and getting to a bowl game. I’ve talked to some Virginia players about it and they say, “Of course.” You can’t listen to the external expectations. They were picked to finish last in the ACC.

I think they also believe they have a little more than what people think. With all the new faces, sometimes that gets lost in preseason rankings and win totals. I think a lot of it will come down to how well they can fix that offensive line and if Tony Muskett can protect the football.

Full conversation

Our full conversation with Greg Madia can be found on our YouTube page.

We spoke with Greg about Muskett, as well as UVA’s strengths and weaknesses. The Cavaliers have a veteran and talented defensive line that looks like the team’s best position group. The offensive line, however, is a massive question mark.

Greg also shared insight into how the tragic shooting last fall has impacted this year’s Virginia football team.

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