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

championship game.

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

2004.

”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

it.”

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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