All this month we're publishing a series of Q&As from interviews gathered at the ACC Football Kickoff.
Scroll to the bottom of this story to see the previous Q&As we've done.
Today we have Virginia offensive tackle Will Barker, who talked about a variety of topics, including: what it's like blocking in a spread offense; his thoughts on Vic Hall as a quarterback; and last season's roller coaster ride in Charlottesville.
How is the spread offense different – or is it? – for offensive linemen?
"There is some carryover from the old offense. Just basic things like splits, alignments. Things like that. I think it’s more challenging for the skill positions rather than the linemen. The lineman still has a job to do – block somebody – and that doesn’t change. It changes how far away you are from your guard. That’s probably the biggest, most obvious difference."
What about run-blocking out of that two-point stance?
"It’s definitely different. Being in a three-point stance you obviously have all your weight forward. In a two-point stance you have to be more balanced, because you don’t want to go offsides or anything. It's different. It’s something to get used to. But I think with how spread out everything is, it kind of gives you time to build up the momentum that you would have had coming out of a 3-point stance."
Can you talk about the off-the-field distractions you went though last year? (Barker was arrested for allegedly stealing beer from a bar in July of 2008 and later acquitted.)
"I really don’t like to think about it. It happened. I’m over it. It’s not an issue any more. I don’t want to make it an issue any more. Once it was over it was over for me. Obviously it was a distraction. When it was over that’s when I could focus on football."
What was the roller coaster of last season like for the UVa players?
"I thought we were a good team but obviously things didn’t work out in the end for us. But if you think about it, going into the last three games we still had a chance to win the ACC title."
Can you talk about the pace of this offense?
"It’s quick. It’s fast. I think it exposes a defense because it’s no huddle. When a play's over you get back to the line and you run another play. As games wear on, defenses tend to slow down, getting back (to the line). It really gives you an opportunity to exploit that."
You talked about the speed of the offense. Can it be exhausting for you as an offensive lineman?
"Playing a college football games is tiring. Really, if you practice it enough you're going to be in good enough shape to run it. Basically that’s what it comes down to. Once you get into game shape and you’re able to do these plays play in and play out, you're going to be tired but at the same time you can keep going."
What’s Vic like at quarterback?
"He’s the leader. He’s a natural leader. As a quarterback, when he comes out there you know he means business. He wants the ball and he wants to make plays with the ball."
ACC Football Preseason Q&As
UNC quarterback T.J. Yates, Aug. 10.
Miami safety Randy Phillips, Aug. 7.
Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, Aug. 3.
Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, July 31.