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UVA Players Aren't Talking, 'Hoos Aim to End Losing Skid to Hokies Friday

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The UVa football team is hoping to end a 14-game losing skid to rival Virginia Tech on Friday.

Virginia players will not be talking to the media this week.

UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall gave his players the choice of not attending Monday's press conference.

Mendenhall says he gave his guys that option, because the 'Hoos are preparing for Tech on a short week, with an afternoon game on Friday.. and he wanted his guys to be solely focused on the game.

"I basically said everything that they are not doing that doesn't involve them going to class or winning this game is not going to help us," says Mendenhall.  "I did give them a choice.  I think it gives our team the best chance to be focused, prepared and ready to play the way they'll need to play in a very difficult environment against a very difficult team."

Virginia has lost 14 straight games to Virginia Tech.   The Cavaliers are a 4-point favorite for Friday's game.

It's only the second time in 20 years Virginia has been favored to win in Blacksburg.   It's also he first time in over two decades the Cavaliers go into the annual clash with a better record than the Hokies.   Tech is 4-6.  Virginia is 7-4.

"We have a significant deficit to overcome when you look at history," says Mendenhall.  "However this is eighteens team vs. eighteens team and that's our focus."

Mendenhall says he knows the importance of this rivalry game and has told his players that this is the most important game of the year.

"It's not just another game," says Mendenhall.   "Virginia hasn't won the game in a significant amount of time.   It's an instate rival game.  It's hard to takeover a conference before you take over you own state and your side of the division."

The only injury update on quarterback Bryce Perkins is that Perkins told UVA coaches on Monday that he feels better than he expected to.