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2018 Opponent Previews: Virginia


NCAA Football: Virginia at Miami
I genuinely like this picture
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

First and foremost, this is the Michael Isenhour Toy Drive weekend, so I don’t expect anybody to show up to this game empty-handed. If you can afford the 30-rack of Bud Lights for your pre-game, there’s no harm in adding a couple of toys to help kids in the Atlanta area. From the Edge Building:

“Fans are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages to donate. Monetary donations are also accepted (patrons wishing to make a monetary donation are asked to please make checks payable to “Georgia Tech Athletic Association”).”

For those of you unfamiliar with the origins of the drive: “The toy drive was founded in 2001 by Georgia Tech men’s basketball student-athlete Michael Isenhour, whose inspiration was to assist families impacted by 9/11. Isenhour, who was battling leukemia when he started the toy drive, lost his battle with the disease in 2002. SAAB renamed the toy drive in his honor in order to create an enduring legacy in memory of their fellow student-athlete.”

Last year’s goal was 2,500 toys and $10,000 in donations, so let’s shatter that this year and them some.

As for the scholarly gentlemen of Thomas Jefferson U, y’all ‘member when they had those two 5* defensive players seemingly out of nowhere? Well, they’re both finally gone.

In the interim, since Mike London (lol) brought those guys to Charlottesville, they’re signed approximately 0 players over 3 stars according to 247Sports. So when head coach Bronco Mendenhall said this offseason that his team had very few ACC-caliber players (27 to be exact), he’s sort of not wrong. It’s an argument to make if you’re a coach looking to buy yourself some patience from a eager fan base (looking at you, Arkansas and Texas A&M), but from a fan base that really doesn’t care a quarter as much about football as they do their equally slow-paced basketball team, I think Bronco won’t be on the hot seat for quite some time. But for the rest of us that reside in the broadly-named Atlantic Coast Conference, then that same quote could also be taken and immediately turned this:

and loudly question:


This was their sole victory in the final 7 games last year. They averaged 13 points per game down this stretch excluding our game. Ted Roof-isms aside, we got beefs to squash and a little soul scorching to do when the Wahoo’s come to Atlanta. Something to the tune of the 2012 season’s 56-20 romping would be suitable to my tastes.

Here’s who they lose, and whom they bring in. The football side of things if you will.


Cassius Peat - Arizona CC transfer that was ranked the #4 SDE in the 2018 JUCO rankings. Also, was oddly let go by Michigan State prior to his time spent in Arizona.

Bryce Perkins - #6 Dual threat QB out of another Arizona CC, was a former Arizona State recruit.

Marcus Appleford - Rutgers transfer brought in to hopefully bolster the actually bad OL unit for the Cavaliers.

Dylan Thompson - Transfer QB from Ohio State that could wind up not playing based on coursework at a non-Big Ten pillar of educational prowess. (obligatory “ain’t come here to play schoolCardale Jones mention).

In addition to this odd pipeline of AZ CC transfers, Mendenhall also picked up 3 incoming freshmen from Hawaii, because why not?


5-star S Quinn Blanding - now playing for the football organization from the District of Columbia.

QB Kurt Benkert - currently with the Atlanta Falcons, seeing those meaningful preseason minutes and all their glory (*googles Falcons*). How did we get shutout by the Jets? I know it’s only the preseason, but [Dire Straits].

Along with 2 WR, 3 OL, and 4 DL. So while the drive to six wins and bowl eligibility won’t be easy for the Cavaliers (still don’t understand Wahoo, despite however many times it has been told to me), their schedule is about as cupcake-y as it gets.

With non-conference games against now-FBS Liberty, Ohio, Richmond, and @ Indiana, there is a fighting chance to win all four, despite S&P+ giving Virginia a 38% chance to win in Bloomington. They get Louisville and NC State out of the Atlantic, which isn’t great considering Virginia has the offensive blueprint of a ninja star.

(Here’s where I make you go click another link to understand what I’m talking about. Go look at Bill Connelly’s 2018 preview for the Cavaliers here, and sort of chuckle/do that thing where you push air out of your nose to express you find something only mildly entertaining. Lastly, parenthetically speaking, check out their SBNation site Steaking the Lawn).

Finally, the whole reason you clicked on this article: the score. Tech is projected as a touchdown favorite, and while the recent history of this series has trended towards closer contests, I’m not feeling it this year. Replacing a lot of production on the defensive line is hard (unless you’re Clemson apparently), and while this game fall in the penultimate weekend of the regular season, giving Virginia time to get experienced and on the same page, I think the wear-and-tear of the ten preceding weeks is enough to tilt the game in the Yellow Jackets favor. Tech 41 - Virginia - 21. WaHoo Wa and such.

(Afterthought: If this game was an away game this year, I was going to write like 100 words on this preview and then just include the following video, referring to last week’s preview of the Louisville Cardinals, where I wrote like 2500 words and talked about football for roughly 57 of them.)

(After the afterthought, its the hotel lobby.)

The M?M?BP returns in 22 days, tell ya friends. Or at least tell me what you wanna see, it makes my life easier.