CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The No. 22 Virginia football team is about a 28-point underdog for Saturday’s ACC championship game against No. 3 Clemson.
On Tuesday UVa quarterback Bryce Perkins said Virginia will try to shock the world.
Clemson has won four straight ACC championships and has gone on to win the national championship in two of the last three seasons.
Clemson is currently riding a 27-game win streak and about a 28-point favorite for Saturday’s night’s game.
“As players we see that and hear that,” says UVa defensive end Mandy Alonso. “We’ll play with a chip on our shoulders. We have something to be the underdog.”
“We have not been on this stage, nor are we pretending that we have,” says UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall. “Just saying that to the team alleviates all the other stuff. We have not been there. They have. It’s new for us, it’s not new to them. The process of discovery is exciting and vigorating and challenging. Being a pioneer, carving or blazing a trail that hasn’t been blazed for a while is exciting and challenging so we’re just calling it that.”
Virginia’s offense has come alive scoring at least 30 points in four straight Wahoo wins. Clemson’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points all season.
“We’re not just happy to be here. We’re going out there to win a football game,” says UVa quarterback Bryce Perkins. “We know the challenge that is at stake. The guys know how the to prepare and they know how these practices have to be as far as mentally and physically to go out there and shock the world.”
“We’re looking at this game, the ACC championship, we’re not going to enjoy the sights. We’re going and we’re going to try to win,” says UVa linebacker Zane Zandier.
Saturday is just the next step for Virginia. A bowl game win last year in Charlotte helps prepare the team for its first ever ACC championship game.
“I think it’s definitely beneficial,” says UVa guard Dillon Reinkensmeyer about the experince. "We haven’t been there before but I think it’s important to have the mindset of not just going there to be there, but to win. "
Bronco Mendenhall adds, “The progress we’ve made as a program over the last four years hasn’t been in relation to anything we can lose, it’s what can we gain. What can we gain by doing and tha’ts the next step. On the next stage, they just keep getting bigger and better which is great.”
Virginia and Clemson kick off at 7:30pm Saturday night in Charlotte.