EIGHT DAYS until Cavalier Kick-Off! Have you RSVPed for the StreakingtheLawn Kickoff Tailgate yet? Wahoo Nation is undoubtedly getting excited to see what Coach and company have in store to build off of last year's success. The STL staff sat around in a circle to pow wow over what game we're most looking forward to this season.
Leung: What's the one game you're most looking forward to this season and why?
(Will opens mouth to begin to speak.)
Leung: UVA game, to clarify.
Will: Oh, damn. (Leaves.)
Schwartz: UVA vs. UNC at Scott Stadium on THURSDAY November 15th. UVA hasn't hosted a Thursday nighter since 2006, when the Hoos defeated the Tar Heels 23-0 behind Jason Snelling's 131 rushing yards. This year, ESPN gives Virginia a nationally televised weeknight primetime spot.
The late-season game has the potential to be a vital one for UVA. Based on the amount of inexperience on the current roster, I wouldn't be surprised to see the team start slow, then put together a late run. To compete for an ACC title spot, we'll need to win our ACC home games, and this is especially true for the 117th installment of the Oldest Rivalry in the South against the rival Tar Heels. UVA is on a two-game skid against UNC, including a 2010 loss at Scott Stadium, the first home loss against the Heels since 1981. Time for some revenge, and Scott Stadium will be rockin' for this one.
I expect to ride home-field advantage to a win...and hopefully to a big showdown at Lane Stadium 10 days later. Last year, the Hokies' schedule included a similar extended week off before they came to Charlottesville. Hopefully, we could parlay our "mini-bye" into a more successful rivalry battle this year.
Tiki: Maybe this is a cop out answer, but I'm most looking forward to the Richmond game, because it's the first game and it means its officially football season. Also because it's fun to watch your team win by 40.
Schwartz: Good point. If I am asked this question at any point in the season, my answer would probably be "the next one."
Leung: So help me God if you just jinxed something for us, Tiki.
I'm looking forward to the Georgia Tech game. It doesn't mean much if we lose that game, because it's by almost all accounts, it's a game we probably should lose. But I think it's a game we can win, and if we do, it'll all but mean that we'll be good enough for a pretty good bowl game this year.
Tiki: I actually thought about that. But this Richmond team isn't the same team that won an FCS championship a few years ago, they've fallen pretty far since London left. And we did beat W&M by 37 in last year's opener.
Justin: Right now, I'll say Penn State. Maybe I only feel that way because that game is closer than a lot of other ones I could pick (UNC is high on the list). With Richmond, you're just glad the season is underway and you hope you don't screw it up. Also gives you a chance to see how some younger guys look. Penn State becomes our first "big" game of the season then. Yes, they will be somewhat depleted by transfers, but I think UVA would have had a good shot to beat them regardless. Also, it will be all eyes on Charlottesville, with the game on national television. Many people around the nation will be tuning in to see Penn State (maybe hoping they crash and burn), but its a great chance for the Virginia program to get some people thinking "well I watched for PSU, but this Virginia team is not bad." Also with the transfers, it becomes much more of a must win, and with PSU having an interesting test with Ohio in week 1, if they come into Charlottesville 0-1 and win, that would make us look really bad.
Tim: (Walks in late, possibly inebriated on account of hanging out at St. Maarten's all day.) I don't know if I'm too late here, but I'm going with Penn State. While at the moment I'm very excited about the first game against Richmond, I'm just really looking forward to the game against Penn State because i think it'll be the first time that we really know what this team is. I think we have a chance to, at very least, be competitive in the game. Regardless of what PSU is going through, they're still Penn State. So if we can keep it close or win it, then people will be forced to take note.
So what do you think, Hoos? What game are YOU looking forward to the most?