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UVa football: Mendenhall receives accolades from ACC expert observers

UVa football: Mendenhall receives accolades from ACC expert observers

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No matter where Virginia was selected in the preseason football predictions, it appears that the Cavaliers rank among the nation’s elite in COVID-19 avoidance.

When tested last Friday, Virginia’s football team had not recorded a positive coronavirus result since July 24.

The football program has had a total of three positive tests since the players returned to Charlottesville on July 5 for summer conditioning.

“On the COVID stuff, I think everybody understands that [UVa coach] Bronco Mendenhall is a very cerebral guy and very meticulous in how he does things,” former Miami coach Mark Richt said Wednesday on the ACC Network.

“I’m sure he went by the book and his players responded. I think he went by the COVID protocol and that’s part of the reason why the numbers are very low.

“I will say, if there is an immunity to it, a lot of the teams had a lot of guys get it, so they may not be subject to getting it during the season. Virginia didn’t have hardly any.”

The Cavaliers wouldn’t change a thing in their approach to the coronavirus.

“We take a lot of pride in [the numbers] and we take a lot of precautions,” UVa special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Ricky Brumfield said Wednesday. “Coach Mendenhall is on the conservative side of the things that we’re doing.

“It’s comparable to a lot of other programs, it’s different and there’s a reason why it’s different. In our protocols, [Coach Mendenhall] tried to make a bubble for our guys to stay in, and he did a good job.

“It’s one thing for us to have a plan and coach to have a plan, but it’s another thing for the players to do that plan and execute that plan.”

Former ACC lineman Eric Mac Lain

was among the analysts weighing in Wednesday on the ACC Network.

The Cavaliers have added eight transfers, many from the FCS ranks — many of whom can play immediately.

“I think it’s going to be pretty dynamic,” Mac Lain said. “You talk about a tight end, big Tony [Poljan]. You think about a young quarterback [Brennan Armstrong] starting for the first time and what’s your security blanket? It’s a great tight end.

“With [running back] Shane Simpson, who was an FCS All-American, that’s going to be a great one-two punch. When you have the speed of Simpson and the sledgehammer that is Wayne Taulapapa, that’s going to be fantastic.

“You’re losing 80% of your offense in [quarterback] Bryce Perkins, but when you’ve got guys who come in right away, that’s going to be a relief for everybody.”

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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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