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UVa football: Cavaliers' shuffled schedule includes challenging road tests

UVa football: Cavaliers' shuffled schedule includes challenging road tests

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Two previously unscheduled road trips to Florida were among Virginia’s discoveries Wednesday when the ACC released its altered football schedule for 2020.

The Cavaliers, previously set to open the season Sept. 7 against Georgia in Atlanta, get three new conference road games to go with previously planned trips to College Football Playoff runner-up Clemson and in-state rival Virginia Tech. The additions are Florida State, Miami and Wake Forest. All five played in bowls following the 2019 season.

Coming to Charlottesville will be Boston College, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and N.C. State.

Yet to be announced is an 11th game against a nonconference opponent that must be played at the site of the ACC school.

The new schedule was part of a massive overhaul conducted by the ACC, which not only added two conference games to each member’s schedule, but also brought in traditional football independent Notre Dame as a one-year member of the conference.

In addition to the Irish playing 10 games, the ACC announced that all TV revenue for the upcoming season, including the money Notre Dame gets from NBC for its home games, will be shared equally by all 15 schools.

If Notre Dame wins the ACC title game and is not picked for the College Football Playoff, it will be eligible for the ACC’s Orange Bowl slot.

Gone from Virginia’s schedule, as well as the rest of the league, are three of the four nonconference slots.

According to the original schedule, Virginia was set to host VMI and Connecticut in September, and also play a neutral-site game with Georgia in Atlanta. The Cavs were also scheduled to play at Old Dominion on Oct. 24.

Three of those games will have to go away now.

VMI has not yet been told by UVa if it will remain on the Cavaliers’ schedule as Virginia’s lone nonleague game under the new “plus-one” model.

The coach of the other September home opponent is skeptical his team will still be making its trip to Charlottesville.

“Oh, man, what a mess,” UConn head football coach Randy Edsall said Wednesday. “The problem [for us] is, the state of Virginia is on a list; if we went down there, we’d have to quarantine if we go and come back.”

Connecticut athletic director David Benedict received an email Wednesday from Virginia administrator Jim Booz that listed requirements with which UConn would have to concur before playing at UVa.

“Right now, they can’t even tell you when you’re going to play,” said Edsall, noting that the original date was no longer set.

“Are we going to be able to shower in there? We can’t even use our own locker room in [Connecticut] right now. Every state is different in terms of what you can do right now.

“We knew this was coming down the pike.”

When one of Connecticut’s players had COVID-19 symptoms, seven players who had been in his vicinity were quarantined.

“It’s taken 10 days to get a test back now,” Edsall said. “We had a walk-through out there the other day, and we had eight offensive linemen. You can’t even practice with eight offensive linemen. It’s taking 10 to 12 days to get a test back right now.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen [as far as a season], but I don’t see it. Right now, they’re not giving dates out. How do you prepare for anything like that?”

In addition to football, a number of fall sports were addressed by the NCAA. Conference competition in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey and volleyball will begin Sept. 10.

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Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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