It’s official! Virginia, by virtue of a 6-6 regular-season record (3-5 within the ACC), will play in the Military Bowl on December 28. Haven’t been paying close attention? It’s OK; we’ve got you covered. Here are some UVA football lines you can casually but knowingly drop into conversation at your next cocktail party.
“It’s been twelve years; we’re due for a bowl win.” This will be the Cavaliers’ first bowl appearance since losing to Auburn in the 2011 Chick fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The team’s last bowl win was a 34-31 triumph over Minnesota in the 2005 Music City Bowl; its all-time record in bowls is 7-11.
“This team did well against the triple-option offense.” Navy runs it, and so does Georgia Tech—which UVA beat in November.
“2018 will be the real winner.” The game offers a reported $1 million payout, much-needed television exposure for recruiting and roughly an extra month of practice time as the program builds toward an even better 2018 campaign.
“A bowl in the second season—it’s like déjà vu.” After going 2-10 in his first season at helm in 2016, Coach Bronco Mendenhall led the Hoos to wins over William & Mary, UConn, Boise State, Duke, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. In 2011, Mike London brought UVA to its last bowl, also in his second season.
“Streaks don’t just happen on the Lawn, amirite?” Streaks were both UVA’s friend and foe this season; the team won five of its first six games before losing five of its last six.
“Man, that QB’s got some sweet ink.”* Starting quarterback Kurt Benkert, whose father owns a tattoo parlor in Maryland, has four tattoos on his left arm—a lion, a Spartan, the Greek word for strength and his initials. Benkert has his wedding anniversary on his back (he married his high school sweetheart in 2016) and scripture along his ribs.
*This may have limited appeal so, you know, read the room.