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GAME THREAD: Virginia Cavaliers football vs. Richmond Spiders

Hoos ready to take on Spiders in first game under new coaching staff

Virginia v Miami Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Here’s the thing. We had this whole opening bit that was pure gold. We wrote about a force of nature, a contest between an unstoppable force against an immovable object, etc. Then the big reveal—the contest we were writing about was Tropical Storm Hermine against the Scott Stadium drainage system. Then the weather forecast changed and we had to delete the whole thing. Anyway, we have enough drama this afternoon without the gods trying to turn our first game of the season into a water skiing contest.

First on the docket is the next door(-ish) neighbor Richmond Spiders. Underestimate them at your peril. While they are an FCS squad, the Spiders are highly regarded nationally after finishing 10-4 in 2015, losing to national champion North Dakota State in the semifinals of the FCS championship. This team is no joke. Against a similarly strong William and Mary team last season, Virginia won by 6.

This is, however, a new beginning. A new coaching team lead by Bronco Mendenhall has taken over and preached fitness and accountability. The team was relegated back to square one, built back up from scratch, and seems genuinely glad to have gone through the process. The quarterback position has changed. The defensive alignment has changed. The gameday experience has changed. Even the uniforms have changed.

Virginia should have a decided advantage against an FCS program, an advantage that hasn’t been readily apparent in recent games against the lower half of Division 1. Hopefully part of the new beginning is the reemergence of that advantage today.

Game thread is open. Here we go.