For Virginia’s Road Woes, One Big Question: Does Offense Travel?

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If you’ve read anything about the Virginia football team this week, then you’ve read about the Virginia football team’s road record this week.

It’s the obvious topic. It makes sense because UVA goes on the road for the first time in 2021 with the trip to North Carolina. More importantly, it makes sense, because the Cavaliers have struggled on the road. They currently own a 6-19 record in the Bronco Mendenhall era, including a 5-15 mark in ACC play. Interestingly, three of those away wins came in the first eight road games of Mendenhall’s tenure. They are 3-14 since.

Stink, stank, stunk as the Grinch song goes.

The Hoos aren’t whistling past the bus, though. It’s something under the microscope within the program.

“It really just depends on, I guess, how far you’re willing to go, and extremes sometimes are necessary to change culture or to get different results, and I believe that we’re designed for the results we’re getting,” Mendenhall said. “So I inherited a program that wasn’t strong on the road, and sequentially now have become strong at home and have become a contender for the Coastal and are the defending Coastal champs, right, and that was when we won at least half our games on the road. Yeah, we have tried and are working on different things, and one of them simply is to practice somewhere else. That is – I don’t know many teams that do that. Just like we moved into our own stadium for spring practice, we are and have been practicing at different locations starting in the spring, and that’s just part of the emphasis. That doesn’t mean immediate results, it doesn’t mean automatic returns, but it does mean emphasis.”

Hopefully, that emphasis has included a way to pack up the offense from home and take it on the road. Yes, plenty of pixels have been written about the defense, the secondary issues, and more – including here on The Sabre – in recent seasons thanks to the a drop-off on that side of the ball starting midway through the 2019 schedule. And, yes, the defense obviously has contributed to road struggles.

Still, if you’re looking for the biggest difference between UVA’s play at home and on the road, especially in recent seasons, you have to