'Hoos Trying to Tune Out Negativity, Turn Attention to Terps

Virginia's Eli Harold says he won't be spending too much time on the Internet this week.

"You can't listen to what they say on the message boards. And "blah, blah" this and "blah, blah" that," the sophomore defensive end said Monday afternoon. "You've just got to continue to do what you do."

Criticism of the UVa football team is getting more pointed following the Cavaliers' back-to-back defeats the past two weeks, especially after last Saturday's 48-27 loss at home to Ball State.

But Harold says he's determined to tune out any negative coverage of his team.

"It causes a cancer in your mind. And it causes you to think negatively about yourself and your team. So I'm going to stay off the media," he said. "Just practice hard, and go to class, and go to meetings. And hopefully the result on Saturday will be what we want it to be."

"You really can't focus on the negative things. Or you really can't say that you're going to do this or do that, without doing it," said junior running back Khalek Shepherd. "So we really come every week, every Sunday we sit down and we say, "This is a new week. Saturday is over with. And now it's a new time, or another chance to get better.""

This Saturday, the Cavaliers travel to Maryland for their final meeting with the Terrapins as ACC opponents. The Terps are 4-1, following last Saturday's 63-0 loss at Florida State in their ACC opener.

"At this point, we're coming off two losses, and we can't really get down on ourselves," said redshirt freshman receiver Kyle Dockins. There's no time to feel sorry for yourself. We've just got to keep going at it and going at it."

"We still think we have a chance in this thing," Dockins added. "We've still got a lot of conference play. We've still got a lot of football left in this thing."

"Our goal is to get back on task with a Maryland team," UVa coach Mike London said Monday. "Being on the road, being at their place, and all the things that come with playing them for the last time."

The Cavaliers' last meeting with Maryland was a 27-20 Terps win in Charlottesville last October. It was part of the six-game losing streak that sunk Virginia's 2012 season, and a winless month of October for the Cavaliers.

This October got started with a performance reminiscent of that losing streak last season. Last weekend's loss to Ball State included four UVa turnovers (that led to 17 points for the Cardinals), 13 penalties for 93 yards, and 506 yards of total offense allowed.

"It's a humbling experience," Harold said Monday. "The defense doing great all year; the offense not so well. The offense did, to me, great on Saturday. They did all they could do."

"Everything's not going to go your way, but we have yet to play a full game as a team," Harold added. "And hopefully this Saturday, we'll have a total team effort. Offense, defense."

"Our main focus is to put a complete game together -- offense, defense, and special teams -- and focus on that," said London. "And not worry about the things that have gone on in the past, but focus on the things that can cause us to help us win as we prepare for Maryland."


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