TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY WE WILL HAVE VIRGINIA FOOTBALL BACK IN OUR LIVES. Yes, I realize that could come off sounding a bit like a threat, but I prefer to remain optimistic. The Hoos kick off the 2017-18 (going into 2018 because we are getting that bowl game LEGGO) on September 2nd as they welcome the Tribe from William and Mary to Scott Stadium.
Last week, the Streaking the Lawn staff discussed players they thought would have a breakout season for the Cavaliers. Today, we look at some games that either delight or dismay us. Also, a big welcome for Luke “the New Guy” Marston (@LukeMarston2) to the STL team!
Will: I'm really looking forward to Alabama-FSU to kick off the season.
Tiki: I'm most excited for Indiana because I'm planning on going to that one with my daughter. It'll be her first game, so that's exciting. I'm least excited for Boise St because I remember the last time we played them.
Wiley: I'll take the easy answer both ways. Most excited for William & Mary because it means FOOTBALL IS BACK! And it's the first chance to see in live action a team that—by all reports—has vastly improved from last season. Most dreading the VPISU game, because I've been alive and sentient for the past decade and at this point it's just Pavlovian conditioning to dread that game on the schedule.
Hobes: I'm most dreading the UConn game, assuming they beat W&M and Indiana. Because although a 3-0 start would make it very likely they go to a bowl game, going 2-2 in the nonconference (I'm assuming a loss to Boise State) would be bad news. Call me crazy, but I'm most excited for the Virginia Tech game. I'd be much more confident of a win if this game were the day after Labor Day rather than the day after Thanksgiving, and we all know how prepared a Bud Foster-coached defense usually is by November. That being said, I truly believe that with bowl implications likely at stake (as well as the chance to do something for Charlottesville that would by no means erase what happened last weekend, but perhaps serve to put a smile on the faces of a lot of people in Central Virginia), the streak will finally end this year.
Danny: The game I am most excited for is the Duke game. It was the only ACC team UVA defeated last year, so hopefully the Hoos can get another win this season. While Virginia may be more favored to win vs William & Mary and UConn, Duke will be a good litmus test to see how far the team has improved. The Cavaliers could be 3-1 or 2-2 going into the matchup, so a win over the Blue Devils would be a good confidence boost to start the ACC season. In addition, UVA's bicentennial celebration is that weekend, so the grounds will be buzzing already and hopefully the stadium will be full. The game I'm dreading the most is the Virginia Tech matchup to end the season. While the outcome should be closer than last year's 52-10 drubbing, UVA will be coming off of two tough road games vs. Louisville and Miami. Hopefully the Hoos will be playing for bowl eligibility during that game, but if the season turns south there will be plenty of Hokies in Scott Stadium to witness another season finale letdown.
Pierce: I'm definitely looking forward to W&M the most - as Paul said, it means football is back and we haven't lost yet! I know I know - W&M has been a loss before and Bronco lost to UR last year. That won't happen this season, I promise. We'll be 1-0 and things won't have broken me as a fan yet.
I'm dreading the VT game mainly because of their fans. The annual game is pretty much a bore by this point, right? UVa certainly has a chance to be competitive in it - but I'll always have low expectations for it. The fans, however, are largely insufferable and make my day worse what with all the ugly color scheme and the jingling. I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it, someone get me Zima.
Trogs: I echo Paul and Pierce's thoughts entirely. I can't wait for the opener, and I cringe to think about the finale. I'm also intrigued about the Georgia Tech game. If Bronco's squad is going to go to a bowl game, it'll likely need to beat the Yellow Jackets. It's been a long time since UVA has won a November game of any importance -- since beating FSU in 2011 -- but the GT game could loom quite large if things break right earlier in the season.
Luke: I'm excited for our bowl game. The University of Virginia football program WILL be bowl eligible this year for the first time since New Year’s Eve, 2011. I agree with Matt [Trogs], the Georgia Tech game will be important, however, the game that will send the Wahoos into the postseason for the first time in six years will be the Louisville game. Kurt Benkert will outduel Lamar Jackson in the Papa Johns's Cardinal Stadium and gatorade will flow in the Cavalier (road) locker room on November, 11th.
Ellis: Wait is Luke with me on the #Benkert4Heisman bandwagon? It's been a lonely ride so far.
Luke: There's no doubt about that Matt. This ride might be weird but I'm in for the long haul.
Tiki: Gonna be a lonely ride.
Ellis: False. Our bandwagon has actually doubled in size over the last 90 minutes. Growth is incredible.
Darns: I am loving Luke’s optimism and our bowl game will 100% be my favorite game of the season if that transpires (which I think it can). However, the game I’m most excited about is the Duke game. It’s at home, there’s the bicentennial as Danny mentioned, and it’s the first ACC game. Oh, and they were one of two wins last season. Unfortunately, I am also dreading the VT game. I will, as I do every year, pick the Hoos to win because eventually we have to win again (right? RIGHT?!?), but the combo of facing 14 straight losses AND dealing with the insufferable fans coming in from Blacksburg...ugh.
What is your choice for the game you’re most excited about? Dreading? Leave a comment below!