ACC Football Kickoff

Coaches and top players from all of the ACC football teams gathered in Charlotte for the ACC Kickoff.
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Nc. (WVIR) - Coaches and top players from all of the ACC football teams gathered in Charlotte for the ACC Kickoff.

UVA Football Coach Tony Elliot says he thinks there will be significant improvement as he goes into his second year as head coach.

The ‘Hoos won just three games last year, but the players are optimistic and more comfortable with what the coaches are teaching.

A lot is riding on the arm of Tony Muskett.

The senior transfer from Monmouth is poised to be Virginia’s starting quarterback with Jay Woolfolk now out of the mix, focusing solely on baseball.

“I just think this group that we have in the locker room right now, it’s a lot of highly committed guys,” Muskett said. “Coming back home, having my family up in Northern Virginia and all my high school friends telling me they’re going to be able to come to games. I go out there and I put on internal pressure on myself.”

Coach Elliott says his players are now buying into what he’s trying to do.

Perris Jones: “We are able to be special, electric. Our goal is to score every time we go out there on the field. We left a lot on the grass last year and we’re trying to make up for those mistakes,” Perris Jones said.

The Cavaliers return six starters on defense, including grad student Chico Bennett, who says he’s returned to UVA because of last year’s tragedy.

“As Coach Elliott likes to say, turn tragedy into triumph. We’ve embodied that has a team and in our individual lives. As we grieve together and alone it was important for me to come back,” Bennett said.

Virginia Tech also only won three games last year, with Coach Brent Bry also entering his second season.

Grant Wells is the likely starter at quarterback.

The Hokies have added three talented receivers via transfer, including Ali Jennings, who had 9 touchdowns last year at Old Dominion.

“We had to go out and get some explosive playmakers and we did that, three guys in that receivers room,” Coach Pry said. “We did some things that will allow us to have a better opportunity to make big plays.”

The ‘Hoos and Hokies play each other on Saturday, November 25 in Charlottesville.

Virginia’s season opener is labor day weekend against Tennessee in Nashville.

Virginia Tech will open at home against Old Dominion.

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