UVA football looking to end struggles with road games this season
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team is off to a 2-0 start, after earning wins against William & Mary and Illinois.
The competition will get tougher this weekend, as the Cavaliers travel to face conference rival North Carolina.
Not only will the game against UNC be the first ACC game of the season for the ‘Hoos, it’ll also be their first road game of the year.
UVA has had a lot of success in front of its home fans over the last few seasons, but struggled away from Scott Stadium, and the Cavaliers say winning on the road has been a point of emphasis this year.
The last time Virginia finished a season with a winning record on the road was 2011.
Even while winning the ACC Coastal Division and going to the Orange Bowl in 2019, UVA was just 2-3 away from its home field.
Senior defensive lineman Mandy Alonso says, “I don’t know what it is on the road, but we definitely feel more comfortable at home.”
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “When I saw our first game against Richmond, when I arrived here (in 2016), it was Priority No. 1 to become exceptional at home first, and that’s taken a lot, a lot of work.”
Virginia is 15-1 at home over the last two-plus seasons.
Now they’re looking to bring that success on the road.
Mendenhall says, “We have to stimulate progress, to win the league, and win the division, and to have the program that I want, and we all want, consistently, that has to travel.”
The Cavaliers are pulling out all the stops to get there, including surprise “road trip” practices.
“We have tried, and are working on different things, and one of them simply, is to practice somewhere else,” says Mendenhall.
Alonso says, “Just changing the scenery, and being able to go run somewhere else, other than at our practice field.”
Senior offensive lineman Chris Glaser adds, “Just so we can get used to not being comfortable at home, because obviously we are. We’re great at home, and I think they’ve been helpful, and we’ll see if they have been.”
Virginia and North Carolina will square off on Saturday in Chapel Hill.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM.
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