FORT LAUDERDALE, F.L. (WVIR) - Virginia senior captain Jordan Mack will not be able to play in the Orange Bowl because of an ankle injury. The linebacker is recovering from surgery and was seen at practice Friday with his ankle all bandaged up.
It was here in South Florida two months ago Bryce Hall suffered a season-ending leg injury. He’s now helping the 'Hoos in other ways getting ready for their biggest game in years.
“He does what he can to help. He sits in a lot of the coaches meetings,” says UVa linebacker Charles Snowden. "He coaches up a lot of the younger guys working with the defensive backs still. He’s our spiritual guy. He reads to our guys in the lockeroom. He’s still a part of the team but he’s embraced this leadership role and getting ready for the next level.”
“He’s helping out trying to mentor the players,” says UVa defensive coordinator Nick Howell. “Trying to give those guys feedback and help them with things that he sees. He’s done a good job.”
Virginia had its first practice in Florida Friday in Boca Raton, preparing for the Florida Gators.
“They have playmakers all over the field,” says UVa safety Joey Blount. “Their offense is very high caliber. I think it will be a great opportunity to show them what we can do.”
“It’s a huge opportunity especially coming from 2-10 a few years ago,” says UVa defensive lineman Mandy Alonso. “To the Military Bowl, to the Belk Bowl and now. It’s just a lot of progression and we just have to keep going to get this win.”
A win over Florida in the Orange Bowl will give Virginia its second 10-win season in school history.
“So crazy how lucky and blessed we’ve been this season with everything we’ve done,” says UVa linebacker Zane Zandier. “To end it with the Orange Bowl is special for us. Coming out on top would just be the icing on the cake.”