Let the countdown to Black Friday begin.
On Saturday, the Virginia football team took care of its final piece of business before its regular-season finale with rival Virginia Tech, cruising to a 55-27 victory over Liberty on a cold, dreary day at Scott Stadium.
Coach Bronco Mendenhall and his players said during the week that their focus was on the Flames (6-5), who came into Scott Stadium with a prolific passing offense and hopes of securing bowl eligibility.
The Cavaliers had other ideas.
Virginia (8-3) sacked Liberty quarterback Stephen “Buckshot” Calvert three times and intercepted him twice. Calvert went 16-of-40 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Cavaliers also limited Flames receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, a semifinalist for the Biletnekoff Award and an NFL Draft prospect to six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown.
While the Virginia defense held Liberty’s offense in check, the Cavaliers’ offense continued its recent tear, racking up 499 yards of total offense. Quarterback Bryce Perkins went 18-for-30 for 199 yards and two touchdowns and added 30 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The UVa running game, which has had its fair share of struggles, was solid on Saturday. The Cavaliers rushed for 227 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns against the Flames.
After falling behind 14-10 in the second quarter, Virginia responded with 28 unanswered points to take control. Virginia outscored Liberty 31-13 in the second half to win going away.
Now the Cavaliers can turn their focus to Friday’s Coastal Division clash with the Hokies. A win over Virginia Tech would give Virginia its first Coastal Division title in school history and snap a 15-game losing streak to their rivals.
As the clock ticked down on Saturday’s win, the hearty souls who braved the cold and damp for the duration of the game began chanting “Beat The Hokies.”
With the rest of their business handled, the biggest game in recent memory for the Cavaliers now awaits on Black Friday.