Third time the charm: Virginia ready for season opener against Duke


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Cavaliers have been COVID-19-free since returning to Grounds.

Now, they are just days away from getting their reward: A season opener against the Duke Blue Devils at Scott Stadium.

“We’re anxious to play football,” Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “They have done an absolutely remarkable job of managing the virus. As of today, we still have zero positive tests within our team and that’s an amazing accomplishment by them.”

Virginia was supposed to open its season against VMI two weeks ago, but the Keydets moved their season to the spring.

Then, the Commonwealth Clash against Virginia Tech was postponed from last Saturday to December 12 due to an outbreak among the Hokies.

But according to senior wide receiver Terrell Jana, the delay has paid off in one way, as it’s allowed for new starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong to get more comfortable.

“It’s more time for us to get more catches, more routes, more rhythm, just to be in touch more, I think, as a team, and for all the quarterbacks to get some reps with all the wide receivers,” Jana said “Those plays are kind of catching up to where the teams were in the spring.”

The Cavaliers will also have to learn quickly against a Blue Devils team that has already played Notre Dame and Boston College, losing both contests.

On defense, there are two keys, in the opinion of senior linebacker Charles Snowden.

“Turnovers are a big thing. Tackling is very important as well. And so those two things really are where we’re trying to focus in on,” Snowden said. “They already have two games under belt, where we haven’t had any, so we’re going to try to mitigate those early little first-game mistakes and try to bring a little bit from (Duke).”

Kickoff on Saturday is at 4 p.m.

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