Virginia football is hitting the road this week, as the Cavaliers travel to Coral Gables to face the Hurricanes. Both teams are riding wins coming into the game, but the Cavs are lookign to end a road game losing streak that dates back to 2012.
Movement in the Trenches
UVA Head Coach Mike London finally is not talking about another injury on the offensive line. The 'Hoos welcomed Sean Karl back to the lineup against Georgia Tech, and Karl is back on the depth chart this week. Also on the chart for the first time in the trenches is Rob Burns. The tight end has been training with the left tackles due to all the injuries, and this week it is the first time he is made it on the chart on the line.
With these changes Jack McDonald is listed behind Jackson Matteo at center and back up right guard; Ross Burbank is in front of Karl at left guard; and John Pond and Steven Moss are no longer on the depth chart.
Road Game Woes
Virginia football has lost 13 straight games on the road. The Cavs are entering a tough and crucial road stretch. Virginia has not been able to play a complete game away from Scott Stadium. The 'Hoos also continue to score in red-zone opportunities-scoring the fewest touchdowns in the ACC.
"Going on the road is all about playing a complete game," said senior corner Maurice Canady. "I think once we're able to play a complete game, we'll be very tough to beat."
"Eliminate the mental errors that cause you to go from third and two to third and seven, then all of the sudden you end up punting the ball because you missed on opportunities," added UVA Head Coach Mike London. "Or you have a third and one and don't get it and you have to kick a field goal. That's a step we have to take to win on the road or win any football game."
"It's home-field advantage for them, and they're coming off a momentum win for them [Miami]" said sophomore safety Quin Blanding. "We've just got to finish. That's the biggest thing, we've just got to finish and fight hard for all four quarters, and just come out on top."
Playing Until the End
For the second week in a row the Wahoos are facing a team that won on special teams with the clock expired. The first thing London and his dad did on Sunday was to show their team highlights from eight-lateral touchdown scored by the Hurrcanes on Saturday to win the game.
“The message is, you play until the very end,” London said. “Obviously, it’s never over until it’s over. Those two games have heightened our awareness of what you have to do until the whistle blows.”
They might be rivals on game day, however, London and the 'Hoos have a lot of respect for Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer, who announced he will be retiring after this season.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Beamer and what he’s done over the years,” London said. “My years here in the ACC, the head coaches meetings in Amelia Island [Florida] ... Coach Beamer has had such a tremendous impact on college football, one of the guys that’s one of the best that’s ever been.
“We’ve talked not just as coaches, but as men, fathers, husbands,” London added. “It’s a pleasure and an honor to know a gentleman like him. You hope life after football brings nothing but success for him and his wife and his family.”
Canady added he is thankful for Beamer and what he did for college football in the state, "I’m honored to have played against him.”
Honor for Blanding
The UVA sophomore safety was named the ACC defensive back of the week after recording 15 tackles against Georgia Tech. He also broke the pass at the end of the game that sealed the win for the 'Hoos.