FORT LAUDERDALE, V.A. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team was on the practice field in South Florida for the first time on Friday, as the Cavaliers get ready to take on Florida in the Orange Bowl.
Monday’s game will be UVa’s first-ever appearance in the Orange Bowl, as the program is on the rise, after winning just two games three years ago.
The 'Hoos are on the practice field for the first time in Florida continuing their preparation for the Gator’s pass-heavy offense.
Junior safety Joey Blount says, “You want to play for your teammates, you want to play to a level where you’re not making mistakes in the field, you’re playing your best ball. I think the opportunity in front of us in outstandingly great.”
Defensive Coordinator Nick Howell says, “Ultimately it comes down to the coaches putting the right plan together. The leadership of the players, that’s giant of the players owning it. A lot of it is the mindset of the players. That’s important.”
“I think we’re very motivated,” adds senior defensive tackle Eli Hanback. “We’ve been going non-stop for two weeks and we’re ready to go.”
The team is hoping to send its seniors out with a win.
Junior linebacker Charles Snowden says, “They were First Year’s for that 2-10 season. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve been here through the Richmond loss. For them to see where it’s all become, they always tell stories how it was before we got here. To see them now, I just want to send them out on the right note.”
A win over Florida in the Orange Bowl will give Virginia its second 10-win season in school history.
Blount says, “There’s been hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, injuries have been put into this to what it is now. This 10-win season would bring it all together. All the hard work and everything we’ve sacrificed.”
Junior linebacker Zane Zandier adds, “So crazy how lucky and blessed we’ve been this season with everything we’ve done. To end it with the Orange Bowl is special for us. Coming out on top would just be the icing on the cake.”