jump to example.com

The UVA losing streak to Virginia Tech: Time for the nail to pound the hammer

uva virginia techBronco Mendenhall can still salvage what has been to this point a disastrous first season at UVA. All he has to do: beat Virginia Tech.

It’s no small task. Last time Virginia beat Virginia Tech in football, there was no Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, much less Instagram, Snapchat, Yik Yak or whatever social-media platform is the current next big thing with the kids.

Seriously, is that world even fathomable?

Think about it: UVA fans haven’t been able to write on social media that their team beat Virginia Tech in football.

OK, they probably posted it on MySpace. Remember MySpace? That’s how long ago this was, folks.

Friggin’ MySpace.

It’s so long ago that Bronco Mendenhall hadn’t even yet been a head coach. Mendenhall took over at BYU in 2005, two seasons after Virginia’s 35-21 win over the Hokies in 2003.

Mendenhall had an 11-year run at BYU subsequent to that win, before coming east to Make UVA Football Great Again.

The first 100 days, give or take, under Mendenhall, have been anything but great again. Virginia opened with an embarrassing blowout home loss to FCS Richmond, and after a modest mid-season two-game winning streak have now lost six straight, and many weeks have not been competitive.

Vegas doesn’t expect Virginia to be any more competitive this weekend in Blacksburg, installing Tech as an 18-point favorite.

But you’re supposed to be able to throw the teams’ records out the window in a rivalry game, right?

The one thing that Mendenhall has going for him is that he and his staff don’t carry the baggage of 12 straight losses to the Hokies.

In recent years, UVA has been very competitive in this series. Last year, in Charlottesville, the Cavs twice had one-score leads in the fourth quarter before a late Virginia Tech rally resulted in a 23-20 Tech win.

Two years ago in Blacksburg, Virginia took the lead with three minutes left before surrendering a big play leading to a last-minute Hokies touchdown in a 24-20 Tech win.

Three of the last four games in the series have been decided by four points or fewer, and we’re talking about some bad Virginia football teams playing some good Virginia Tech football teams down to the wire in those.

This is what Mendenhall is selling to his team right now: you’re close.

It might be a reach this year, with Tech on the verge of another appearance in the ACC Championship Game, and the Cavs on the verge of another 10-loss season.

What Mendenhall is trying to convince his guys is: Tech is looking past you, with Orlando and then a bowl game still to play, and let’s face it, this is your bowl game.

Win, and sure, you’re 3-9, but to a long-starved fan base, ready to hit publish on the Facebook post and tweets proclaiming that first victory in forever and a day, you’re not 3-9, you’re 1-0.

Throngs of fans will meet the buses back at Bryant Hall. They may organize a parade in your honor.

They’ll certainly forget Richmond, Pitt, North Carolina, Miami.

And looking down the road, we’ll all look back on this one as the one that laid the foundation for the rebirth of Virginia football.

All you have to do is defy the odds, as you just about did against Louisville a few weeks ago.

Nobody gave UVA a sliver of a hope against the then-Top 5 Cardinals, and the ‘Hoos were 13 seconds away from pulling off the shocking upset.

Put yourself in position to win in the fourth quarter, as you could have done against Louisville, as you could have done last season against a good Notre Dame team, as you could have done three of the past four years against Virginia Tech.

It’s time for the nail to pound the hammer.

Stranger things have happened, right?

OK, maybe not. But anyway. Wahoowa.

Column by Chris Graham

   
Discussion
 
Highlights

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

   
Recent Posts
   
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.