UVA Football Players & Coaches say Bye Week was Beneficial
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA players and coaches say they used the bye week to work some of their problem areas in preparation for Friday's game at Miami.
Virginia's game at Miami is the earliest in the season the two teams have ever played each other.
Virginia's offensive line, in particular, didn't play well in the last game, allowing Bryce Perkins to be sacked eight times. Virginia only gained four yards rushing.
The players say the run game and offensive line has been a focal point in practice.
"Everybody's working deliberately," says UVa offensive tackle Ryan Swoboda. "In practice when we know when we go into team periods we got to strain, we got to go even harder. We are holding each other accountable which is the biggest change right now."
UVa running back Wayne Taulapapa says, "Each and everyone of us, offensive line and running backs are working together, physicality, get our toughness up to be able to get the yards we need on offense to get our offense going. Bryce can't do it all."
"For our offensive line there is continual expectation asking and continual prompting and driving," says coach Bronco Mendenhall. "They want to get better, they need to get better and they're working hard to get better. That's matter of factly where we are.
Many of the UVa players say they watched the Miami-Virginia Tech game on Saturday. A wild game which saw Tech jump out to a 28-nothing lead, before Miami tied it at 35. The Hokies eventually won 42-35.
"This additional time gives us a little bit of an advantage I feel like," says UVa safety Joey Bount. "A two-day advantage to prepare. The bye week helped a lot just getting your body together mentally and physically.
"I think it was very productive," says Taulapapa about the bye week. "A lot of it had to do with studying what works well for us and what works well against other teams. Really getting our physical shape up and healthy."
"Just trying to get back to doing what we do best," says UVa linebacker Charles Snowden. "Knowing our identity, practicing that every day. The stuff we've been doing, is not necessarily what we've been doing but how we've been doing and making sure we're meeting it to our standard."
Virginia and Miami kick off at 8pm on ESPN Saturday night in Miami.
On Monday the ACC announced Virginia's home game against Duke on October 19th will be a 3:30pm kickoff, televised by the ACC Network.