Momentum Moving In Right Direction For Virginia Program

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Virginia is 6-2 so far this season.
Bronco Mendenhall speaks at his introductory press conference with the late George Welsh. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/

When the clock finally expired Saturday and Virginia owned a 48-40 win, it marked off a big picture checkpoint for the season. With win No. 6 in the books, the Cavaliers secured bowl eligibility for the fifth straight season.

The pandemic-altered schedule and UVA’s choice to opt out obviously complicates that sort of note, but the important part is that the Hoos reached one of the sort of baseline benchmarks for a successful program. With so many bowl games and opportunities, it may not be the premium part of evaluating a program but it’s still an important one. Plus, it’s probably worth remembering that the Cavaliers frequently whiffed on bowl chances prior to this stretch with only two bowl appearances and no bowl wins during the lost decade from 2006-2016.

There wasn’t much fanfare over hitting such a small but important target. Bronco Mendenhall noted in his weekly media interview that he remembered his “second year the fans rushed the field when we got our sixth win.” There is a symmetry there. The sixth win in 2017 came against Georgia Tech as well and fans did indeed crash the field at Scott Stadium.

Still, as the offseason “50 Thoughts Before Virginia Football Kickoff” series noted, Mendenhall’s tenure is in a critical time frame that ...