EDGE Notes: Virginia Football Needs To Reverse The Turnover Trend

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Virginia football head coach Bronco Mendenhall watched as his team committed four turnovers as part of a sloppy effort versus NC State. ~ Photo courtesy Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

The University of Virginia football program had four turnovers, including three interceptions and one fumble lost, in Saturday’s home loss to NC State. The Wolfpack capitalized on those miscues to the tune of 17 points, which happened to be the difference as NC State won, 38-21.

With nine turnovers in its first three games of 2020, Virginia is on pace to surpass its highest turnover total in a season in the Bronco Mendenhall era. UVA had 26 turnovers on its way to a 2-10 record in Coach Mendenhall’s first season at the helm. Opponents amassed 99 points off those turnovers.

Virginia has improved in the turnover department since the disastrous 2016 campaign. The Hoos turned the ball over 19 times in 2017 (6-7 record), 19 times in 2018 (8-5), and 21 times in 2019 (9-5). Not great, but an improvement, and five of the program’s nine turnover-free games in the Mendenhall era came last season. All were victories as Virginia captured its first ever ACC Coastal Division title and earned a spot in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

Turnovers are going in the wrong direction for the Cavaliers so far in 2020. Making Virginia’s miscues especially difficult is that the majority of them have given the opponent prime field position. As a result, UVA