The Virginia football team has a new game plan -- go 4-0 in November, and get back to a bowl game.
After opening the season 2-0, the Cavaliers dropped six in a row, making a bowl bid seem highly unlikely. But after Saturday's 33-6 win at N.C. State, Virginia players talked about "winning November."
And that was the theme at Monday's news conference, as well.
"Winning helps. It helps with a lot of things," said head coach Mike London. "And when you haven't won for several games, you get that feeling back about how it feels when you win, we crave wanting to win games. We have to."
"After a win, everything is that much better," said sophomore quarterback Phillip Sims. "It's sweeter; the whole team is energized. Everybody is back to normal. It's good to see smiles on guys' faces when they come in the door, instead of everybody frowning like, "how are we gonna turn it around?""
"To get the monkey off our back, it felt great," said sophomore linebacker Daquan Romero. "If we lost this game we still had three other games to play, but it's like nothing to look forward to."
Getting to six wins would make Virginia eligible for its second straight bowl game. But to get there, the Cavaliers can't lose another game.
"We basically feel like it's a playoffs-type system," said freshman defensive end Michael Moore. "And we just feel like we want to win every game that we can so we can get to that bowl."
The Cavaliers' second November game comes Saturday at Scott Stadium against Miami. London is 2-0 against the Hurricanes as head coach at Virginia, including a nationally-televised 28-21 Thursday night win at Miami last season.
"With Miami, obviously another November game," London said. "And an opportunity, with only two home games left, an opportunity to play well again, against a team that we've played well against in the past. That's kind of the mantra; that's the mindset right now."