RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – 2019 went very, very well for Virginia.
The Cavaliers won the Commonwealth Clash over Virginia Tech for the first time since 2003, clinching the ACC Coastal Division in the process, and played in the ACC championship game and the Orange Bowl.
But for reasons on and off the field, 2020 will be a different year for Bronco Mendenhall’s team.
“It’ll be one of the most challenging schedules that I’ve ever had the chance to take on as a head coach, with the quality of opponents, week-in and week-out, from beginning to end,” Mendenhall said Friday as UVA started its fall practices. “And then you add the unique set of circumstances worldwide that we’re dealing with at the same time, but with an amazing group of young people that I truly love and care about, that I’m anxious to help in any way possible.”
In addition to battling the pandemic, Virginia will play 10 straight ACC games following its Sept. 11 home opener against VMI.
The first two conference opponents jump right off the page: Rival Virginia Tech on Sept. 19 and national powerhouse Clemson on Oct. 3, both away.
“Playing the Virginia Tech game that early maybe gives a sense of hope and optimism to our state, to the commonwealth, and maybe to college football,” Mendenhall said. “Having some of those games early on, I think, was intentional to add some momentum to the season.”