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‘Cavs Make Statement, Have Momentum

By BJ Bennett
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Bronco Mendenhall clearly has the Cavaliers moving in the right direction.

One of the most important wins of the week four college football schedule came before the weekend even settled in. Late Friday night, Virginia dominated on the road at Boise State 42-23, a national-stage statement for a program that went 2-10 a season ago. The Cavaliers handed the Broncos their worst home defeat in over 15 years and, most importantly, moved to 3-1 for the first time since 2007. Virginia has very real traction as conference play begins.

It was a potentially-transformational moment for both the Cavaliers and their head coach. For Virginia, a strong showing against a name opponent comes with credibility. For Bronco Mendenhall, head coach at BYU from 2005-2015, the victory comes with validation; interestingly enough, Mendenhall's most important win in his current role just came against a former foe. Two seasons ago, UVA lost to Boise State 56-14; fast forward to today and the Cavaliers have college football's attention.

More than just a full-circle showing for Mendenhall, it was a well-rounded one from his team. Quarterback Kurt Benkert had one of the best games of his career, playmakers Jordan Ellis, Andre Levrone and Olamide Zaccheaus were dynamic, Virginia outrushed Boise State 167 yards to 30 and the Cavaliers did not turn the ball over and had just three penalties for 23 yards. Simply put, Virginia looked the part.

"Now, people have to take us seriously," Benkert added post-game. "We're building momentum now, and we're excited to see how it plays out.'' 

With the non-conference schedule now over, the Cavaliers have positioned themselves as a player in the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia will host Duke to open league play this Saturday.

Mendenhall clearly has the Cavaliers moving in the right direction. The difference between last year and this season is significant, progress that was on display Friday night.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports