Despite blowout loss to Hokies, Cavs to play again
His team had just fallen 38-0 with a thud heard around Virginia
in a much-hyped meeting with Virginia Tech, and Mike London wanted
them to feel the disappointment, and the pride.
Unlike the past three seasons, the Cavaliers have another game
to look forward to, he told them. More weeks to practice and grow,
and another chance to end the season on a high note.
Virginia (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won’t likely know
it’s bowl destination for several days, but that it will have one
means the first goal for this season was reached.
”We’re disappointed, but at the same time, 8-4 and the chance
to be 9-4 for this program? I’ll take that,” London said later
without dismissing the disappointment of getting to the game having
won four in a row and with a chance to advance to next week’s ACC
Instead, the Hokies (11-1, 7-1) reign for the eighth consecutive
year as winners of the Commonwealth Cup and will play Clemson in
Charlotte, N.C., seeking their fifth ACC title.
Truth be told, though, the Cavaliers were probably ahead of
schedule in playing themselves into the position to unseat the
Hokies, who have been the class of the league since they joined in
”No one thought we’d be this far or get to this point,” said
London, in his second year as Cavaliers coach. ”8-4 is a good
season for us. … It’s disappointing to lose and to lose a chance
to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship, but in
no way are we disappointed about the season.”
That’s especially true for the seniors, some of whom got to
accompany the team to the 2007 Gator Bowl, but who all made making
it to a bowl game their first priority of this season.
That they achieved that somewhat minimized never having beaten
their state rival.
”It definitely hurts, but our season isn’t over,” wide
receiver Kris Burd said.
The Cavaliers will find out their bowl destination in the next
week, and in the interim have extra time to practice, self-scout
and do the things that helps winning programs stay on top.
”Last year at this time, I was packing it up and putting it
away for the season,” Burd said. ”It’s my last game coming up.
It’s going to be an emotional game and I’m looking forward to
So is the offensive line, which was viewed as a strength not
only because of the Cavaliers running game, but its ability to
protect quarterback Michael Rocco. Virginia managed just 30 yards
on 26 rushing attempts against the fifth-ranked Hokies, and Rocco
was sacked four times.
”We have played some great football this year and I think
everyone’s aware of that,” sophomore guard Luke Bowanko said. ”We
have won some close games, some exciting games, and it stinks to
come out the last game against our rival and play less than what
we’re capable. The reality of the matter is that we have another
game to play and we’ll make the most of it.”
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