50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff: The Comeback Kids

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Virginia won eight games last year.
Mandy Alonso was disruptive against Pitt before a knee injury ended his season. ~ Mike Ingalls

Prior to the start of the 2018 Virginia football season, a pair of defensive linemen were hungry for bigger opportunities. For Richard Burney, it was a fresh start on the defensive side of the ball. For Mandy Alonso, it was building on his true freshman campaign.

By the end of summer workouts and preseason practice, both had carved out starter-level roles on the defense. Unfortunately, both players saw their season end early, though. The good news is that they’re back this fall and showing no signs of rust from the layoff for rehabilitation. That should help boost an already strong defense in 2019.

“Really, really hard work that they put in and really consistent in their work ethic since they’ve come back,” Cavalier Co-Defensive Coordinator Kelly Poppinga said. “They look healthy. It’s good to have them out there.”

The “50 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff” series continues.

21 – The Comeback Kids

When the season opened last fall, Burney and Alonso wasted little time in making their presence felt. Alonso got his first career solo sack against Richmond in the opener for example, while Burney notched four tackles against Indiana. It looked like both players were on track