Looking back on the 2019 Commonwealth Clash: ‘They wanted to win more’

Looking back on the 2019 Commonwealth Clash: ‘They wanted to win more’

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - In a college football season which has been anything but normal, the commonwealth will have a normal-ish ending, as Virginia and Virginia Tech will battle for the Commonwealth Cup this weekend.

The ‘Hoos and Hokies have met in the final week of the regular season every year since 2006.

Last year’s ending was a little different, as it was Virginia coming out on top.

The victory ended Tech’s fifteen-game winning streak in the series.

Virginia senior safety Joey Blount says, “Breaking that streak last year was a pivotal point in the culture, and what we were trying to do at UVA.”

Cavaliers’ head coach Bronco Mendenhall adds, “Certainly, the folks in-state are the ones who were most thrilled, and I noticed it from them the most.”

The memories are still fresh for the Hokies.

“It was pretty matched, as far as yards, and turnovers, and that kind of thing,” says senior defensive lineman Jarrod Hewitt. “But it ultimately came down to they had more energy that day, and they wanted to win more, and that’s been something that’s eaten at us for the last, whole year.”

Hokies’ senior punter Oscar Bradburn says, “The week after the game, was a very down week, especially in the locker room. It was hard to get up, and keep moving forward after a loss like that.”

The Cavaliers have been in possession of the Commonwealth Cup for a little more than a year.

Before that, it spent 5,479 consecutive days with the Hokies.

“This is a game that’s incredibly important to both sides,” says Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente. “We know we have our work cut out for us, to go try and get that thing back.”

The Wahoos have no intention on returning the Cup.

Or the Monkey.

Blount says, “I would say I want to keep the Monkey on my back, to make sure we keep focusing this week. I think that the mindset that we had last year, going into the game, is what helped us win the game.”

“You’re disappointed that we let that happen last year,” says Hewitt. “As a senior, this year, it’s not going to happen under my watch. There’s no way that they can play harder than we can play, in our stadium. It just can’t happen.”

Virginia and Virginia Tech are scheduled to kickoff on Saturday at eight o’clock in Blacksburg.

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