Bronco says likely UVA will not replace canceled VMI for season opener

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

With Virginia’s scheduled season-opener with VMI canceled, it appears the Cavaliers will now open against rival Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

“Yeah, the latest I heard is it’s likely that we will not replace VMI,” Bronco Mendenhall said Friday morning. “So that then would lead to an opening game versus Virginia Tech. Again, it’s not definitive yet, but the latest I’ve heard though is that’s the direction where we’re headed.”

Some UVA fans have voiced an opinion that Boston College should move into the Sept. 12 slot that became vacated when VMI suspended its fall football season. Virginia is slated to host Boston College in the regular-season finale of its 10-game ACC schedule on Dec. 5.

BC is not playing a game on Sept. 12, so would it be possible to move the game to the opener rather than the closer? There has been no word if UVA or BC are considering the idea.

Should that date remain open, that’s a difficult way for the Cavaliers to open the season against rival Virginia Tech on the road. The Cavaliers just ended a 15-game losing streak to the Hokies last November while claiming UVA’s first ACC Coastal Division title. Virginia Tech will open its season against NC State the week before.

“It’s a long time away from our first game still,” Mendenhall said. “Really today is the equivalent of maybe the start of fall camp if (Sept. 19) is the first date, which is four more weeks. So lots of time to manage.

“But with the unique structure we put in place, I think we can use the time certainly and give our team our best chance to be prepared, but also safe. That’ll be my focus, if indeed we don’t find a replacement.”

Should there not be a replacement, the ACC schedule will present an early challenge for the Cavaliers, who would open with the Hokies on the road and follow with a road game at Clemson.

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