1. The amazing Bronco Mendenhall
Virginia was supposed to be good, but it lost a few key parts and wasn’t supposed to be anything too terrific. Instead, the Cavaliers were deep in the ACC title chase into November, and now, they finished with eight wins and a dominant victory.
And how? There wasn’t much explosion against South Carolina. There wasn’t anything special. The offense was brutally efficient and effective, the defense slowed everything down to a stop with big plays on key downs, and the offense was almost perfectly balanced.
Dominate third downs, win the turnover battle, don’t commit a slew of penalties, and take control right away. That’s what Bronco Mendenhall teams do, and that’s how this one owned the Gamecocks.
They had the ball for 42:35, they committed two fewer penalties, were a +1 in turnover margin, and converted 11-of-17 on third downs.
Mendenhall is turning Virginia into a player in the ACC, and this game was the epitome of what the program can be and what the team can do.