CHARLOTTE, NC (WSET) - Game Day for Virginia is Saturday, when the Cavaliers face South Carolina in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.
The Cavs had their first practice in the Queen City Wednesday afternoon.
After a rough morning of taking race cars around Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Virginia Cavaliers came to this Charlotte high school to hit the practice field, ahead of Saturday's Belk Bowl matchup against South Carolina. Coach Bronco Mendenhall notes his team is the healthiest they've been all season long, and it's their body language in practice that lets him know they'll be ready to play on Saturday.
Bronco Mendenhall, THIRD-YEAR VIRGINIA HEAD COACH (CAVS 7-5), said "I'm not so much looking for what they say, but what they do. Not only what they do, but how they're doing it. How they do it, to me, is the story behind our preparation."
One big matchup on Saturday: South Carolina's passing offense, which put up over 3300 yards this season, versus UVa's pass defense, which is 14th in the nation.
BRONCO MENDENHALL said "They're as effective as their throwing game. So their point potential, to me, is tied to their pace and their pass game."
Several Gamecock players made the message boards Wednesday, calling South Carolina the "bigger" opponent. Mendenhall says he's aware of the talk, but he won't let it be a distraction to his players' preparation.
BRONCO MENDENHALL said "The more time you spend considering any of that, usually, the less likely you are to be focusing on things that really matter. And so we control what we say and how we practice,and don't have time for anything else."
Kickoff Saturday is scheduled for noon at Bank of America Stadium.