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In a must-win game for both teams’ NCAA tournament hopes, Virginia faced off with Louisville Monday night in Charlottesville, and the team did not disappoint a raucous home crowd. After the best start to a game of the season for the Cavaliers (12-8, 6-4 ACC), Virginia was able to keep the Cardinals (11-9, 5-5 ACC) at arm’s length for the entire second half to come away with a 64-52 victory, moving the team’s record after losses to 8-0 on the season.
Virginia did not get the chance to play rival Virginia Tech at home last year due to COVID-19 cancellations, so the team made sure to take advantage of the opportunity in a 54-52 win on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers (10-6, 4-2 ACC) fought through in a gritty, classically-Virginia victory. Leading scorer senior forward Jayden Gardner was uncharacteristically quiet, but junior center Francisco Caffaro stepped up with the game of his life, scoring a career-high 16 points to keep the Hokies (8-7, 0-4 ACC) from their first ACC victory.
After an 11-game winning streak versus Clemson, Virginia lost to the ACC foe 67-50 for the first time since 2013. The Cavaliers (7-5, 1-1 ACC) simply could not get anything going in the second half offensively, making just one field goal over a span of about 17 minutes. The Tigers (9-4, 1-1 ACC), meanwhile, did not have their best game, but a stout defensive effort — combined with timely Virginia turnovers — led to their victory. For the Cavaliers, senior forward Jayden Gardner and sophomore guard Reece Beekman carried the brunt of the offensive load, but the lack of help was simply too much for Virginia to overcome.
Coach Tony Elliott was already excited about breaking records and creating firsts before even stepping on the field as Virginia’s coach.
Virginia Athletics announced Friday afternoon that former Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott will be the Cavaliers’ next head football coach. The news comes after current head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Dec. 2 that he would be stepping down from the position.
In a hard-fought affair against Virginia’s biggest rival, an offensive absence in the second half doomed Virginia to another loss to Virginia Tech 29-24. The Cavaliers (6-6, 4-4 ACC) started off strong in the first half, but missed opportunities starting in the second quarter eventually left the door open for the Hokies (6-6, 4-4 ACC) to come back and emerge victorious. Virginia would score just three points in the second half, which simply was not a winning strategy for this iteration of Cavalier football.
Semifinal versus Georgia
Even after a disappointing but not completely unexpected loss against Notre Dame, Virginia football still finds itself able to control its destiny on the way to an ACC Championship. If the Cavaliers (6-4, 4-2 ACC) win both of their upcoming games against Pitt and Virginia Tech, the Coastal Division crown is theirs. While it may seem like a simple task at first, the Hokies (5-5, 3-3 ACC) always serve as a roadblock Virginia can never seem to get past.
Virginia football returned home for the first time since Halloween weekend but unfortunately could not come up with a win in front of a crowd of nearly 50,000 against No. 9 Notre Dame, losing 28-3. The Cavaliers (6-4, 4-2 ACC) struggled mightily on offense without starting junior quarterback Brennan Armstrong, while the Fighting Irish (9-1) used a balanced offensive attack to remain in control the entire game.
Virginia men’s basketball won its first game of the season, defeating Radford 73-52. The Cavaliers (1-1) used a well-rounded offense and a stout defense to defeat the Highlanders (1-1), looking like a completely different team from the one that took the same floor Tuesday night against Navy.
After a well-deserved bye week, Virginia enters its toughest three-game stretch of the entire season, starting off by inviting No. 7 Notre Dame into Scott Stadium for a Saturday night matchup. The Cavaliers (6-3, 4-2 ACC) last played two weeks ago, losing to BYU in a 66-49 shootout. The Fighting Irish (8-1), on the other hand, have been playing their best football of the year, coming into Charlottesville on a four-game winning streak after pummeling Navy 34-6 last Saturday.
After a solid 2020-2021 season with the ever-reliable Coach Tony Bennett at the helm, a flood of names both exited and entered the Virginia men’s basketball program. Gone are the top three scorers from last season’s squad, and three players who put their names into the transfer portal. To make up for the losses, however, the Cavaliers brought in two immediate impact transfers and two freshmen that could potentially make a difference in their first year. With the basketball season right around the corner, let’s take a look at the revamped Virginia men’s basketball roster.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall’s homecoming did not go exactly as planned for his Virginia Cavaliers, as BYU jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the first quarter was even halfway through. After fighting back to take the lead into halftime, however, the Cavaliers (6-3, 4-2 ACC) could not sustain the offense needed to match the Cougars (7-2), with BYU pulling away in the fourth quarter to win 66-49.
After a 48-40 victory over Georgia Tech that was not quite as close as the score indicated, Virginia football aims to continue its blazing offensive success against No. 25 BYU in Provo, Utah. The Cavaliers (6-2, 4-2 ACC) have reeled off four straight victories, while the Cougars (6-2) are coming off a hard-fought 21-19 win against Washington State.
After two thrilling games that ended on the legs of the opposing teams’ kickers, Virginia needed a game where the outcome was never in doubt. Luckily, the Cavaliers (5-2, 3-2 ACC) got one, defeating Duke 48-0. Virginia has had the Blue Devils’ (3-4, 0-3 ACC) number as of late, winning the last six matches before Saturday's clash, and the trend continued on a rainy Charlottesville afternoon to get the Cavaliers one more step towards bowl eligibility.
After three games in just 12 days and an extremely exciting but emotionally draining last-second win against Miami, Virginia certainly could use the extended break to prepare for its next challenge — a game against Louisville. The Cavaliers (3-2, 1-2 ACC) are back on the right side of .500 after a 30-28 win against the Hurricanes, while the Cardinals (3-2, 1-1 ACC) found themselves on the wrong side of a very similar ending against Wake Forest last weekend, giving up a field goal with just 22 seconds left to lose 37-34. Now, Virginia and Louisville face off in a game that could be crucial to how both teams finish their seasons. Look for a high-scoring matchup that will depend on which defense is able to get a stop when it matters most.
Virginia has to be familiar with Hard Rock Stadium by now. Due to scheduling aberrations with the COVID-19 pandemic last year, it was the Cavaliers’ (3-2, 1-2 ACC) third straight trip to Miami to take on the Hurricanes. Luckily for Virginia, though, it was able to change the fortunes of the first two losses and finally notch a win against the Hurricanes (2-3, 0-1 ACC) 30-28. A truly incredible game had seemingly every Virginia football fan's experience from the first four weeks rolled into one.
The 11 a.m. kickoff Saturday may have been the earliest Virginia has played since Coach Bronco Mendenhall came to Charlottesville, but the Cavaliers (2-0, 0-0 ACC) certainly looked ready to play, getting off to a quick start before holding on to win against Illinois. Virginia was able to find the end zone twice before the Fighting Illini (1-2, 1-0 Big Ten) even gained a first down.
After a 43-0 drubbing of William & Mary last Saturday, Virginia moves on to face Big Ten foe Illinois. The Cavaliers (1-0, 0-0 ACC) may be a bit confused — as is the rest of the college football world — as to what to make of the Illini (1-1, 1-0 Big Ten). Illinois started off the season with a bang, defeating Nebraska 30-22 in a game where it built up a 21-point lead on the back of backup sophomore quarterback Artur Sitkowski. The era of first-year Coach Bret Bielema seemed to have started off with a bang, but Illinois came crashing back down to Earth with a 37-30 defeat at home to UTSA. Sitkowski once again had a solid game, but the defense struggled mightily, allowing the Roadrunners to score three rushing touchdowns. Now, Virginia and Illinois meet for the first time since 1999 in a game that could very well determine who both teams really are.
The calendar is turning to September, students are back on Grounds and the Bodo’s line is out the door. That can only mean one thing in Charlottesville — Virginia football is back. Fans and athletes alike are ecstatic about the 2021 season, especially after a disjointed and mostly energy-free 2020. But there is a question still to be answered — which teams have the displeasure of lining up against the Cavaliers? Let’s take a closer look at Virginia football’s 2021 schedule.