99 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff

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Virginia football season kicks off in 12 Saturdays.
Lamont Atkins makes a cut at practice. ~ Kris Wright

Just 12 Saturdays from now, the Virginia football team will start the 2018 season at Scott Stadium. Richmond comes to town for the opener on Sept. 1 and kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. That’s a prime reason for fans to tailgate and you’ll have all day to do it.

With that in mind – plus the fact that there are plenty of summer weekends still ahead on the calendar – something caught my eye on the Virginia Football official Twitter feed from Friday. The“99 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff” series continues with that Tweet as a springboard.

No. 84 – Teach A Man To Fish

Many of you reading this likely know the old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” With that adage in mind, I thought this video from within the athletics department was really smart:

That’s receiver Cole Blackman, offensive lineman Ben Trent, and running back Lamont Atkins getting a cooking tutorial from UVA Sports Nutrition. The idea here is to give athletes summer cooking tips for when they are still around Grounds for workouts, but not always headed to the dining hall.

Plus, it fits into the overall theme coming out of the department lately in terms of the proposed student development plan. UVA wants to create a comprehensive program to help student-athletes become “exceptional professionals, citizens, and leaders.”

Among the tenets for that concept is to provide opportunities for personal development. I think cooking lessons can be a huge part of that. It should help student-athletes have better tools to maintain healthy nutrition habits after their careers are done and it could provide skills to develop relationships in their future neighborhoods as well.

The other part that caught my eye in that Tweet, of course, was the meal itself. Hawaiian BBQ Chicken sounds good to me! Beyond that, though, it reminded me of the Tailgating With Chefhoo series that ran for a little while here on the site with long-time fan and poster chefhoo. I wondered if there were any recipes in there that fit a similar theme.

Coincidentally, one did. From the BYU matchup in 2013 strangely enough. Bronco Mendenhall and company were coaching the Cougars back then. I wonder if coach Robert Anae or coach Mark Atuaia, both from Laie, Hawaii, have a good ribs recipe?

Here’s the one from chefhoo from the linked article:

Hawaiian Style Spare Ribs

Note: you can use beef short ribs with this recipe as well, particularly the Korean-style cut where you get a cross section of the entire rib, rather than the individual ribs. They sell this cut of ribs at the Sam’s Club in Charlottesville.


  • 1 rack of spareribs, cut into individual ribs (you can use baby-backs, but their lower fat content will dry out in the oven if cooked too long – spare ribs are the better choice)


  • 1.5 cups soy sauce (preferably Aloha brand – they sell it at the Rio Hill Kroger)
  • 1/4 cup of grated fresh ginger (about a fist-sized piece grated on a microplane)
  • 10 garlic cloves (about a head of garlic), crushed
  • 1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (sherry vinegar will also work)
  • Optional: hot sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, hot Chinese mustard

Time To Cook

A day ahead, combine the marinade ingredients (you don’t have to grate the ginger separately … you can always just put all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree them). Place the ribs in a very large Ziploc bag or a casserole dish and pour the marinade over top of them. Toss every 6 hours and marinate for at least 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place a cooling rack (the ones that you cool cookies on after they come out of the oven) over top of a sheet cake pan lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Remove the ribs from the marinade and pour the marinade into a small pot and cover. Place the ribs on the rack about an inch apart and put into the oven. Pour 2-4 cups of hot water into the pan, making sure it’s enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not so much that it touches the rack. This water will keep the ribs moist as you cook them. Add water as the ribs cook if it evaporates.

Bring the marinade to a boil (covered) for 2 minutes. Do not skip this step, as the marinade has come into contact with raw pork. It needs to be boiled!

Cook the ribs for 2 to 3 hours. Every 20 minutes, lacquer the ribs with the marinade. As the ribs cook, the marinade will caramelize on the ribs. Even if it starts to turn a little black, don’t worry … this is what you are going for … a sticky glaze that adheres to the outside of the ribs. You want the meat to start pulling off the bone, but not separating from it completely. Every rib is different, so there’s no set time.

Just remember that if the meat is too tough, your guests will be picking pork out of their teeth for about an hour (I always have toothpicks and/or floss handy when serving ribs).

The ribs can be made up until this point up to two days ahead of time. To reheat, wrap completely with foil and reheat in a 300 degree oven or on a low grill.

Have plenty of napkins handy … these ribs are messy!

Note: You can cook these ribs on the grill. I don’t think they go too well with smoke flavor, but charcoal works very well. Just make sure the temperature is kept constant.

So far, the “99 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff” series has looked Jordan Mack, Jordan Ellis, and more. The previous articles are below. Click away.

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1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Kris-

    I wondered how you were going to create 100 daily comments leading up to the start of our football season but you are so far doing it magnificently…great job! As a HC and staff, in order to keep getting better it takes 365 days a year on and off the field, mentally, physically and spiritually preparing and getting better.

    It’s The Steady Constant Driving

    It’s the steady, constant driving
    To the goal for which you’re striving,
    Not the speed with which you travel
    That will make the victory sure.

    It’s the everlasting gaining,
    Without whimper or complaining
    At the burdens you are bearing,
    Or the woes you must endure.

    It’s the holding to a purpose
    And the never giving in;
    It’s the cutting down the distance
    By the little that you win.

    It’s the iron will to do it
    And the steady sticking to it.
    So, whate’er your task, go to it
    And life’s purpose you will win.


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