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The Five Things: Virginia faces Boston College in key ACC Football clash

Will we actually get to play?

uva footballI think the chances are good.  The ACC updated its COVID-19 travel protocols this week in the aftermath of back-to-back fiascos involving Florida State, the second of which involved Virginia.

As you no doubt will be reminded the next time a road trip at FSU is on the schedule, around 2026, give or take, UVA traveled to Tallahassee on Friday not knowing if the game would actually be played, then woke up Saturday morning to find that the game had been canceled because of a single positive COVID-19 test result in the FSU program.

Bronco Mendenhall went on the most measured of tirades on Monday to raise issue with the absurdity of the situation, and, credit to the ACC, late in the game or not, the league responded.

Now the visiting team doesn’t get on the plane without knowing the status of the game, at least in terms of testing.

Aside here: treating tests that take more than 10 minutes to come back with results as anything other than theater is …

Another story for another day, and another section of the paper.

(Do people still read the paper?)

Anyway, driving back from the UVA-Kent State hoops game last night, I passed a long line of travel buses headed toward Charlottesville.

I presumed they could well have been Boston College heading toward a hotel.

They weren’t party buses.

Injury updates

Dang, does the Boston media even cover BC Football? I look at the front page of the sports section on the Boston Globe website, and I see more stories (2) about the Boston College hockey team than I do about the football team (1), and that one story is about COVID.

From the best that we can gather from the bloggers who cover BC, quarterback Phil Jurkovec (shoulder, knee) will play.

Plenty of people (myself included) cover UVA, but we only know what we can know about player availability, so I can’t do more than speculate that Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson might or might not play based on the direction and intensity of the winds.

I’ll try to let you know when I get to the press box this afternoon.

The skinny

The line opened at UVA -8, for some reason. Now it’s down to UVA -3.5, which is more reasonable, as I wrote earlier in the week.

Aside: is Vegas following my advice? If so, bad idea there.

I’m good at telling you what happened. What’s about to happen is as much the guess of the average stumblebum on the street as it is mine.

ESPN’s FPI gives Virginia a 57.1 percent chance to win.

The Vegas rendering that has UVA a 3.5-point favorite puts the over/under at 55, suggesting a final score in the range of 29-26, which is an odd final score, so let’s round up to 30-27, which is slightly less odd.

How to watch

The game will be broadcast on MASN at 3:30 p.m., which I have to think is good news, because most folks have cable, meaning more folks can watch than when the games are on ACC Network, which isn’t available on cable.

That also means you don’t have to watch the endless loops of “Packer and Durham” commercials and ACC house ads, at least for an afternoon.

I give ACCN a hard time, especially for a guy who, if the phone rang, would jump at the opportunity to be on the call for whatever “Wild World of Sports” broadcast they’d pay me a hundred bucks to be a part of.

Because, I mean, “Packer and Durham” need a lead-in …

“Wake Up ACC with Chris Graham: Weekdays from 4-7 a.m. on ACC Network.”

A man can dream.

Live blog

I’ll be doing a live blog from the press box, which is open air, for those keeping score at home.

Temperature at kickoff is forecast at 50 degrees, which is great running weather – I’m a distance runner, have run three marathons, though it’s been a while since I’ve done 26.2.

What’s good for 6-10 miles around the neighorhood is not as good for sitting in an open-air press box for five hours.

I will be dressed in layers, and wishing there was coffee.

COVID took away our free press box coffee.

COVID is why we’re playing a home game in December.

Anyway, I’ll be blogging.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press