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Cavaliers Enter Final Week of Bowl Game Preparation

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UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall UVa head coach Bronco Mendenhall
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Virginia football team is entering its final week of preparation for the Belk Bowl, as the Cavaliers will take on South Carolina on December 29th in Charlotte.

UVa is looking for its first win in a bowl game since 2005, and for the 'Hoos, this really is 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.'

On December 25th, the Virginia football team will be traveling.

Sophomore linebacker Charles Snowden says, "Christmas Day, spent in a charter bus, headed down to a bowl game.  Can't think of a better Christmas than that."

The Cavaliers have taken full advantage of the gift of extra practices.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, "We did the equivalent of eight spring practices prior to the start of South Carolina prep, and a lot of players emerged, as becoming more trustworthy, more ready.  Basically and end of spring evaluation that happened before the bowl practice."

"It makes all the difference," says junior receiver Joe Reed.  "There are no classes.  Almost like fall camp, we have all day to watch film, and get with the quarterbacks, and talk amongst ourselves.  It's really great to have all this extra time to get ready for a game."

The Gamecocks have spent their extra time figuring out how to slow down quarterback Bryce Perkins.

Junior linebacker T.J. Brunson says, "Number 3 is a pretty good player.  He makes a lot of plays.  He makes a lot of stuff happen for them.  They have some pretty good skill around him.  I'm looking forward to playing them."

Senior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams adds, "The mindset and mentality you got to have with a mobile quarterback, understanding that we can't rush up field, understanding that we can't do a lot of things that you would typically do against a quarterback that just sits in the pocket, because this quarterback is a good guy, a good mobile quarterback.  They got a good running back, and good receivers on the edge, so it's going to be a challenge."

Virginia and South Carolina are both 7-5 this season, and looking to get win #8 in the bowl game.

Snowden says, "I think it would mean a lot, just for this program going forward.  Not only a bowl game, but against an SEC opponent, who is supposed to be better than us.  I think it will build a lot of momentum carrying into the offseason."

"It gives you the confidence and extra energy going into the offseason," adds Brunson, "knowing that you finished the season with a win."

UVa and South Carolina kickoff next Saturday at noon in Charlotte.