WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Cavaliers Ready to Embrace Underdog Role


History won't exactly be on Virginia's side when the Cavaliers host No. 3 Oregon on Saturday at Scott Stadium.

As a program, the Cavaliers have just two wins in 20 all-time games against top five opponents. UVa is also winless in three games all-time against opponents from the Pac-12.

But coach Mike London isn't fazed by either of those facts.

"That's what college football is all about. Having the opportunities to play on those days that a lot of people say that you can't win," London said Monday afternoon at his weekly news conference. "A lot of people said that we wouldn't be able to beat BYU."

"Instead of asking "Why?", we ask "Why not?""

Last Saturday, London became the first head coach in program history to start 1-0 in each of his first four seasons at UVa. The Cavaliers overcame a lightning delay that lasted two-plus hours, a steady downpour for much of the third quarter, and a late fourth-quarter deficit to beat BYU 19-16.

But London says the Cavaliers have already turned the page on that emotional win.

"You can't be complacent," he said. "It was good to win another home opener; it was good to win a game. But you can't be satisfied, and we're not satisfied. We understand that there's a tremendous challenge in front of us."

"I think we're there now," agreed junior wide receiver Darius Jennings. "It was great to have that win. Guys were happy that night, but we know it's going to take one game at a time. We got Game 1 out of the way, and now it's on to Game 2."

Awaiting the Cavaliers in Game 2 is Oregon, who entered the weekend ranked third in both major college football polls. The Ducks opened their season by putting up 772 yards of total offense in a 66-3 win at home over Nicholls State.

This Saturday's game will mark not only the Ducks' first-ever game against UVa, but the program's first-ever visit to an ACC stadium. And they're expected to arrive in Charlottesville as a heavy favorite against the Cavaliers.

"Being the underdog, that's what you want to be right there," said UVa offensive lineman Morgan Moses. "Everybody sleeps on you. Of course, Oregon, a top five team. They're all-world to everybody. But having to come into Scott Stadium, a place they've never been at, is special for us. We talk about that dream schedule."

"This is something you wait for since you were 16," said sophomore corrnerback Maurice Canady. "Something that I've really made a priority. That I wanted to play the best of the best. And this is my opportunity right now."

"Scott Stadium is one of the best places in the country to play," Canady added. "And I think -- well, I know -- our fans are going to be ready, just as we are."


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