Cavaliers Battle Low Expectations as New Season Nears

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

Coming off a 4-8 season followed by an offseason full of change, the expectations for this year's Virginia football team aren't high.

"We didn't prove ourselves too much last year, so you look on the schedule and see a 4-8 team and think, 'oh that's a team that's not that good,'" says senior defensive end Jake Snyder.

"I think we are better than that record and I think we're going to show a lot of people that this year."

The Cavaliers were picked to finish sixth in the Coastal Division, ahead of only Duke, in the ACC preseason media poll.

After last year's disappointing record, part of the effort to turn things around involved making some coaching changes. Mike London's staff now features new coordinators on offense, defense and special teams.

London says they're trying to move on from last year, by "making the necessary changes, still believing, and sticking with the plan.

"Things aren't changed and built overnight, it's a process that's involved with it. I have extreme confidence in the coaches that are hired and the players in the system."

In 2011, the 'Hoos won 8 games and made it to the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

"We were able to look back at those two years and say the differences aren't that great," Snyder said of comparing their 4-8 year with their 8-5 year.

"It comes down to these little plays, 4, 5, 6 plays a game that end up determining a win or a loss. That's what we realize when we look back on that. We say, 'we made these mistakes last year, can't let that happen again, we don't want that same result.'"

Expectations may be low for his team that's filled with young players and new coaches, but Mike London says there is still positive energy on grounds.

"I feel pretty good about where we are. There's six seniors basically on our roster, and there's a process that's always involved in turning things completely around.

"I think I counted the other day there's like 60 players that are freshmen, redshirt freshman, and sophomores. That's part of the process, that's part of the maturation of a football team."

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