Virginia opens up 2020 season at home against Duke


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia athletics department announced Monday (Sept. 21) a total of 703 COVID-19 tests were administered to UVA student-athletes and staff over the last seven days (Sept. 14-20). Of those, 22 resulted in a positive test (3.1 percent).

Since testing began on UVA student-athletes and staff on July 5, a total of 3,805 tests have been administered with 42 total positives. (1.1 percent).

All positive tests were reported to the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health.

The individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were notified according to local health guidelines as a means to trace contacts. Those individuals will self-isolate for at least 10 days, or until symptoms are gone plus three days fever free (whichever is longer) and be medically evaluated until they have been cleared to resume daily sports functions.

Known close contacts of those who test positive will also be asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days and are unable to participate in daily sports functions during that time.

During the competition seasons, Virginia athletics teams follow the Atlantic Coast Conference’s testing protocols.

“I was counting or calculating today,” UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall said on a Zoom call Monday, “and I think my team has been back 12 weeks. We’re anxious to play football. And [UVA’s players have] done an absolutely remarkable job of managing the virus.

“As of today, we’re still zero positive tests within our team, and that’s an amazing accomplishment by them. And I’m looking forward to helping them play football now in a real game and hopefully get a reward for all of their hard work so far.”

Link to ACC testing protocols:

UVA Opens 131st season of football
• The University of Virginia opens its 131st season of football Saturday against Duke.
• It is the 90th season the Cavaliers have played in Scott Stadium.
• UVA is 83-38-9 (.673) all-time in season openers.
• The Cavaliers are 76-21-7 (.308) all-time in home season openers and have won 19 of their last 24 season openers in Scott Stadium.
• In his career as a head coach, Bronco Mendenhall is 11-4 in 15 season-openers, including 3-1 at UVA.

Noting Virginia in ACC Openers
• Virginia begins its 67th season competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday.
• Virginia holds a 27-39 all-time record in conference openers.
• This is the sixth time over the last 15 years that Virginia opens ACC play at Scott Stadium. During that span only the 2007 (Duke), 2010 (Florida State), 2014 (Louisville), 2017 (Duke) and 2018 (Louisville) seasons did UVA start ACC play in Charlottesville.

Five Top Storylines
• UVA’s season opener also serves as its ACC opener for the 19th time in program history. It is the first time since 1993-94 the Cavaliers opened up a season with an ACC opponent in back-to-back years when UVA opened 1993 at Maryland and 1994 at Florida State.
• UVA is opening a season against Duke for the fourth time in program history. Saturday’s game breaks a four-way tie among ACC opponents for most season openers against. UVA had previously opened a season three times against Clemson, Maryland and Wake Forest.
• QB Brennan Armstrong will become just the second left-handed quarterback in Virginia history to start a game. He joins fellow southpaw Jameel Sewell, who started 32 career games for the Cavaliers over the 2006, 2007 and 2009 seasons.
• Bronco Mendenhall led UVA to back-to-back-to-back bowls (2017, 2018, 2019) for the first time since the Cavaliers went to four bowl games in a row from 2002 to 2005.
• Mendenhall is 4-0 all-time in ACC openers, including wins over Duke in 2016 and 2017. UVA also topped Louisville in 2018 and Pitt in 2019 ACC openers under Mendenhall. The 2016 UVA win by Mendenhall in his first-ever ACC game (at Duke) marked the first time a UVA coach won his first-ever ACC contest as the Cavalier head coach.

Virginia vs. Duke
• Virginia leads the series with Duke by a 38-33 margin.
• Saturday marks the first time UVA has hosted Duke in back-to-back seasons since 1976 and 1977, both Cavalier losses.
• During UVA’s current five-game winning streak, Duke has committed 18 turnovers to Virginia’s seven. Nine of those 18 turnovers were interceptions thrown by current New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones. Nine of his 29 career interceptions thrown at Duke came against the Cavaliers.
• Virginia’s 42-34 victory over Duke at Scott Stadium in 2015 snapped a three-game winning streak in the series by the Blue Devils and commenced UVA’s current four-game winning streak. UVA’s 34-20 win at Wallace Wade Stadium in 2016 preceded the Cavaliers’ 28-21 win in Charlottesville in 2017, which was followed by last year’s 28-14 triumph in Durham.
• After UVA won eight games in a row in the series from 2000-07, Duke has won six of the last 12 meetings.
• At one time Duke had a 12-game advantage in the series, but by winning 27 of the last 37 meetings since 1982, UVA now leads the all-time series by five wins over the Blue Devils.

Offense Typically Excels vs. Blue Devils
• The Cavaliers have put up some impressive offensive performances against Duke in recent games.
• Virginia has scored at least 30 points in 20 of the last 37 meetings against the Blue Devils and topped 40 points eight times.
• In the last 30 games, UVA has outscored Duke, 912-539 (avg of 30.40-17.87).
• The 2011 meeting between UVA and Duke at Scott Stadium marked one of the Cavaliers’ six UVA victories in the last 12 meetings. UVA scored 17 third-quarter points in the win, including a Chase Minnifield pick-six and a Perry Jones one-yard rushing touchdown.
• In the 2010 meeting at Wallace Wade Stadium, Virginia’s 48 points were the most scored in a UVA loss and there were 103 combined points between the two teams – at the time it was the second-highest combined total in ACC history.
• Former UVA quarterback Marc Verica set the then-school record for passing yards in a game with 417, which has been surpassed twice by Kurt Benkert. In 2016, Benkert first broke the record with 421 passing yards against Central Michigan and broke his own record in 2017 with 455 passing yards against UConn.
• The 417 passing yards in the 2010 meeting also stood as a school team record for passing yards until UVA broke the record with 480 team passing yards in the 2012 meeting with Louisiana Tech.
• When Duke came to UVA in 2015, the Cavaliers held on late for a 42-34 triumph.
• Matt Johns passed for a career-high 344 yards and two touchdowns as Virginia held off a late Duke rally to win 42-34.
• Duke rallied from a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit and drove inside the Virginia 20 in the final minute behind a 49-yard pass from backup quarterback Parker Boehme to Anthony Nash. But on fourth down, Wilfred Wahee batted away Boehme’s pass attempt to Nash in the end zone to seal the victory.

More on Virginia-Duke Series
•  Duke is Virginia’s oldest opponent (1890) this season; North Carolina is the second oldest (1892).
• Virginia has played 71 games vs. Duke – fifth most among all UVA opponents (UNC, VT, VMI, MD).
• The teams have played every year since 1963.
• In the 2019 meeting UVA and Duke wore the CFB 150 logo on the side of their helmets to commemorate the 150th birthday of college football. Summer of 2019, UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall and Duke head coach David Cutcliffe agreed to honor college football’s 150th anniversary with the 2019 meeting at Scott Stadium.

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