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Around the Corner 9/8: TJ Power commits to Duke, Elliott plans to keep his foot on the gas, Illinois provides physical test

9/8’s news in the UVA sports world.

Syndication: Worcester Telegram Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hello everybody and thanks for joining me for another day of ATC talking about the Virginia Cavaliers. I’m definitely not writing this during my 9:30 AM class, but just for the sake of brevity let’s go right on ahead and check in on your Wahoos.

Notable news

Tony Elliott: “I should’ve kept my foot on the gas” before halftime against Richmond — Cavaliers Now

One red flag, you might say, from Tony Elliott’s first game as a head coach was his lack of willingness to push a two-minute drive with the ball, three timeouts, and plenty of time left on the clock before the close of the first half. After looking back on the game, Elliot notes that he regrets that decision.

“I’m sitting there like, ‘okay, Des [Kitchings] - run the ball. If we have a big play, then we’ll be aggressive and we’ll go attack.’ I probably should have just came out attacking. It set their mindset going into half... It was a learning opportunity for all of us - I should’ve kept my foot on the gas so that these guys can come out of the second half and get out to a fast start.”

Everything Virginia DC John Rudzinkski said prior to Illinois — Wahoos247

Now facing a tough, physical Illinois offense that wants to control the game by running the ball, the UVA defense is going to be challenged on Saturday. Ahead of the contest, Defensive Coordinator John Rudzinksi addressed the media.

“Did not give up many big plays against Richmond. Were you pleased with that? Or to focus on some of the struggles in the run stuff to be happy with that?”

“I mean, it was one of those where we wanted to play better run defense, there’s no doubt about that. There’s a few third down opportunities, we had a chance to get off the field that end up leading to points. But they did a nice job.. and got to build on it. There’s a bunch of learning lessons from that film, and it was good to get back on Monday. And for those guys to learn those lessons, and then can’t make the same mistakes this week, against a really talented Illinois team.”

UVA braces for Illinois’s Big Ten mindset: ‘A party on the ball’ — Richmond Times Dispatch

With a Big10 opponent, there comes an added element of physicality. Fortunately for UVA, the ‘Hoos have a couple transfers with experience playing in that conference.

The conference has long prided itself on playing a tough, physical brand of football. Its offenses run the ball with power and its defenses dominate the line of scrimmage.

“Having a party on the ball,” is how Jack Camper, a graduate transfer edge rusher for UVA [from Michigan State], described it. “Getting to the ball on every single play no matter where you’re coming from. And jumping on top of the pile. Having a good time being mean.”

Virginia Basketball Target TJ Power Commits to Duke — Cavaliers Now

Had this in yesterday’s ATC, but here’s the official news. One of UVA basketball’s top recruits decided to go play for John freaking Scheyer over Tony Bennett. Sigh.

Social media dive

This may be a bit meta, but according to SkullSparks on Twitter, the main, official UVA Athletics Twitter account (@VirginiaSports) had the 11th most interactions in the month of August among all college athletic departments with 129,000+ engagements. Good to see.

For some more engagement with official UVA social media, it’s past time that you all met UVA sports’ service dog in training, Champ. Doesn’t get more adorable than this.

Student perspective

Honestly not a ton to report on the student perspective front. I am learning that UVA Football hands boots out like candy because the number of notable players I’ve seen walking around in boots only to be a full go for games is getting ridiculous.

Otherwise, we’re almost through week three of classes here on Grounds. Looking forward to Saturday’s game with Illinois to get a better litmus test for the ‘Hoos this season. With a win, an eight, heck even nine win season is still on the table. Lose, and we’re having a different discussion.

Wishing you all a fantastic Thursday and I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.