Virginia Football is headed out west to take on the Ducks of Oregon. Streaking the Lawn got exclusive access to document the journey along the Oregon Trail. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but we were lucky enough to survive to tell the tale. We sent a photographer along the way and grabbed some shots, which look shockingly like the 1990 DOS classic.
First, let’s select our team of who we’re following. We’re going with Coach Bronco Mendenhall, who’s heading up the expedition, QB1 Kurt Benkert, his backup Matt Johns, RB Taquan “Smoke” Mizzell, and defensive superstar Quin Blanding.
Knowing he has to rebuild the program from the ground up, Mendenhall has trained to be a carpenter for this journey.
Time to hit Matt’s General Store and load up on all the essentials like yokes, bullets, and oxen.
I’m feeling good.
The eight-bit rendition of ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ is really what the Hoos need to kick off a successful trip out west.
Leaving Independence…sounds like what Bronco already did when he left BYU.
Those filling rations will have to be changed. That’s got to be earned.
Ah good. Just a short 102 miles to the Kansas River crossing.
Oh jeez. Severe blizzard. Lose one day. I’m going to assume that blizzard was in Richmond, and that’s behind us now. Right?
Lost a yoke early. That’s why they carry three.
Smoke keeps asking to change the pace to ‘grueling’.
KANSAS RIVER. LET’S CAULK IT.
No doubts. No problems.
Wrong trail? Lose five days? Who’s navigating?
They’ve made it to the Big Blue River crossing. That 4.4-foot depth is luring them into fording, and I’m falling for it.
That went...not well.
OH NO THE LION PRINCE HAS COME DOWN WITH A FEVER. MATT JOHNS ARE YOU READY? THIS IS WHY WE BROUGHT YOU.
Wrong trail again. Our lead blockers are leading Smoke astray.
Ooooh an abandoned wagon!
Oh. Nevermind. Looks like the Hokies have already looted it en route to the oversized NASCAR party also known as the “Battle in Bristol”.
Tell me Fort Kearney doesn’t look like a party.
OH NO! OXEN DOWN! This is not a good development. The gang lost four oxen in the ill-advised river fording, and now we’ve got an injury. Based on the cagey nature of the description, one can only assume it’s a ‘lower extremity’ problem.
Somehow, Bronco and crew has been on the road for a month and everyone is in fair health.
THIS IS WHAT I GET. I JINXED IT.
Bad news. Kurt’s fever has turned to dysentery. This is a negative for, well, everyone, as I can only assume sharing a covered wagon with those side effects isn’t pretty. A day of rest should be observed, and Bronco has deemed the team earned some bigger rations.
As April continues, the weather warmed, everything going well - AH DAMN IT. Again?!
Three more days rest...let’s see if that helps. Health has shifted to poor.
Oh no. Health has improved back to fair, but, well...
Good news, however. The gang has made it to Chimney Rock. Let’s look around!
THEY’RE PLAYING THE SONG OF OUR PEOPLE. THINGS ARE LOOKING UP.
With the Good Ole Song resonating merrily in the wagon, the motley crew continues their trek. Hey, Aunt Rebecca Sims (any relation to Philip!?) do you have any advice for the group?
Oh. Ok. Well. Let’s go!
Inadequate grass? Do they not believe in sport turf at Fort Laramie?
Yikes. This wagon ride just got way more uncomfortable.
Seriously. Who just steals clothes?
Wow real rough stretch for Kurt. Cholera is truly going to slow him down against Oregon, but maybe that will make the Duck defense keep their distance.
Lost five days AGAIN. Someone forgot the map.
Bronco takes his frustration over losing the trail for the THIRD time out on some unsuspecting bison.
Ok, I’m truly sorry Kurt. This trip has been very, very unkind. The Lion King has come down with typhoid, completing his old timey disease trifecta.
For a while it looked as if Matt Johns was going to make it out unscathed. Nooooooope. That dysentery is still making the rounds, this time focusing on the back up QB. Wash your hands, guys.
BUT MAYBE OUR LUCK IS TURNING!
Made it to Independence Rock! Let’s see how far the gang has made it on their journey!
Oh. So, not halfway. Ok. Wow. Oregon is FAR.
South Pass looks lovely.
Damn. Forgot that rations were full up again. Under 500 pounds of food now. Look out, bison!
We have the option to choose our path...
LET’S GO TO SODA SPRINGS AND GET A POP.
Ooooh! More wild fruit.
Successfully made it to the Green River Crossing.
400 feet across and 20.1 feet deep? Yiiiikes. First choice is to take the ferry, but apparently that takes money. So, let’s caulk this bad boy and cross our fingers.
We lost Quin, Smoke, Matty J, and Kurt. That one hurts. A lot.
Bronco is riding solo. This will make the food rations last longer, however.
Well that’s just obnoxious.
How does one steal three oxen? This wouldn’t happen if Quin was still patrolling the wagon.
Ok, there’s no way the actual football game goes this poorly, right? Bronco has a broken arm. He’s all alone.
WILD FRUIT, Y’ALL.
Bronco’s solo ride was halted briefly due to A LACK OF OXEN (because, of course), but luckily he was persistent in the trade market and found an emigrant to barter with. We’ve got to be almost there, right?
In case being alone with a broken arm wasn’t enough, fearless leader now has measles. On the upside, that’s a new disease for our crew!
Severe thunderstorms. Great. Lost a day. 1027 miles down!
This trip is snakebit.
We’re not sure how the Virginia football team will fare without their head coach, starting quarterback, one of their backup quarterbacks, and star running back and safety. We’re also hoping that the rest of the team managed to make it there safely. I guess we’ll find out Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET (seriously, 10:30…west coast, you crazy), and GO HOOS!