UVA Football gets a couple of extra days off ahead of Louisville

bronco mendenhall
Bronco Mendenhall. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Bronco Mendenhall had known for a while that there were back-to-back short weeks built into the schedule. He didn’t know back when the schedule was released that he and his staff would be enduring back-to-back god-awful performances from the UVA defense at the same time.

This week probably feels like a bye week with the extra days to prepare for Louisville on Saturday.

“It’s been, yeah, a taxing season so far, rapid pace going from a Friday to a Thursday. I think everybody on the way home from Miami was just so thankful. It was hard to get the days right,” Mendenhall said Monday, back on something of a normal schedule, finally.

“It felt like the day after Miami was Sunday, but it wasn’t, it was Friday. Then it felt like the next day was Sunday, but it wasn’t, it was Saturday. Then it felt like Sunday was Monday, but it really wasn’t. Good to be recalibrated. Doesn’t mean everything is now magically fixed and healed as far as body parts or anything else, but the rest came at the right time.”

Louisville (3-2, 1-1 ACC) is a 2.5-point favorite over Virginia (3-2, 1-2 ACC). The Cardinals lost 37-34 to Wake Forest on Saturday.

UVA defeated Miami, 30-28, way back on Thursday.

That was a nice bounceback win after the back-to-back losses to UNC (59-39, Week 3) and Wake (37-17, Week 4) in which the Virginia defense gave up a combined 1,172 yards.

The D represented well at Miami, holding the ‘Canes to 94 yards in the first half, before a Miami rally late made the game interesting.

The last-second kick that doinked off the left upright made for an easier flight home and weekend off.

Emphasis there on the weekend off.

“Coaches were able to get a head start. Players-wise we really allowed them to rest and recover. I’m sure they were on their iPads watching game film, all that,” Mendenhall said. “We didn’t insert the plan earlier. We didn’t do extra meetings with our players. We really allowed Saturday to be a normal Saturday, as if we played on a Friday, I guess is the best way to say that. Saturday was basically a Monday. We’re one day ahead.”

How much a benefit it will be to get a couple days of rest back remains to be seen.

“We’re anticipating, right, a healthier and more rested team. It doesn’t always play out like that. Sometimes there’s a little bit of a be mental sluggishness because it’s not playing Thursday or Friday. We’ve had a few days off. I’ve seen both. Usually it ends up being beneficial just for the health part as the week goes on.”

Story by Chris Graham

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