Cavaliers speak out on Day One of ACC Football Kickoff

Bronco Mendenhall at the ACC Football Kickoff Media Days
Bronco Mendenhall at the ACC Football Kickoff Media Days(WVIR)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Players and coaches are in Charlotte, NC, this week, for the annual ACC Football Kickoff Media Days.

The Virginia football team, as well as the rest of the Coastal Division, addressed the media on Wednesday.

The start of the college football season is about one month away.

UVA has had seven long months to think about the end of last season, a 33-15 defeat at Virginia Tech.

The game was Keytaon Thompson’s first experience with the Commonwealth Clash, and the loss hurt the wide receiver/quarterback in more ways than one.

“We definitely didn’t want to lose that game,” says Thompson. “I broke my ribs in that game, and that was really painful. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t work out for a nice amount of time after the game, and that was all I was really able to think about, was our rival game. So of course it set with me, and it motivated me throughout this offseason, to push myself, and be the best that I can be, so I’m looking forward to the next game.”

Brennan Armstrong was a first-year starter at quarterback in 2020.

He averaged nearly 300-yards of total offense last season, and has been named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented to the College Player of the Year.

“I think games under my belt helps a lot,” says Armstrong. “Just a huge jump, from first to second year, already. Just through spring ball, and having that time with the receivers, and the guys. I’m a lot more comfortable.”

Bronco Mendenhall and the UVA coaching staff have been preaching ‘Unbroken Growth’ since their arrival.

After going 2-10 in their first season, the Cavaliers went to a bowl game in Year Two, won a bowl game in Year Three, and played in the ACC Championship Game and Orange Bowl in Year Four.

Their record dropped from 9-5 to 5-5 in 2020, but after playing through a pandemic last year, Mendenhall says he’s ready for the curtain to rise on a new season.

“I would view it as if we were going to a play, where we’ve seen Act I, four years, with the COVID year not necessarily being intermission, but its own category,” says Mendenhall. “Act II is coming, which is the next four years.”

Mendenhall’s current contract runs through the 2025 season.

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