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The Blue & Gray Press | December 14, 2017

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Virginia football shines this week, earning national spotlight

Virginia football shines this week, earning national spotlight

By DUSTIN THOMAS

Staff writer

After five weeks of college football, Virginia’s teams are still finding a way to be in the national spotlight. Following a great outing in the opening weekend, Virginia college football saves their spot on ESPN every week and hosting ESPN’s College Gameday.

First, the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia have come out the gates running and are off to a unexpected 3-1 start under second year coach, Bronco Mendenhall. The Wahoos offense, led by quarterback Kurt Benkert, has been outscoring opponents 108-51 in their three victories. The strong suit for this ball club is their defense led by seniors Micah Kiser and Quin Blanding who have 45 and 43 tackles respectively. Catch this hot football team at home this weekend for the fourth weekend in a row against the Blue Devils of Duke University.

Another unusual team in the spotlight are the Hornets of Shenandoah University, a Division 3 opponent of UMW. This offense is lead by hometown junior quarterback Hayden Bauserman who has thrown for 1,590 yards and 19 touchdowns in four games. The Hornets are outscoring opponents 157-64 in their three wins and look to continue their amazing offensive start this weekend in Winchester versus the Wasps of Emory & Henry University.

This past weekend, ESPN’s College Gameday went to Blacksburg, Virginia for a match up of undefeated ACC ball clubs between Virginia Tech and Clemson. The atmosphere was electrifying and Lane Stadium roared for the entire game. The Hokies, at the time number 12 in the nation, may have lost this contest to the defending national champs 31-17 but let the country know that Virginia Tech and the town of Blacksburg will be back to the national spotlight very soon.

Finally, the Dukes of James Madison University, hoisting the nation’s longest win streak at 17 games won again this weekend with a 20-10 victory over the University of Delaware. The Dukes sit with a comfortable 5 to nothing, number one in the nation at the FCS level and are heading into a bye week before their biggest matchup of the season. On Oct. 14, in Harrisonburg, JMU will face Villanova in a CAA, top 10 FCS clash. This game’s attractiveness has lead it to be the frontrunner for ESPN’s College Gameday to come back to Virginia and be at the “best College Gameday crowd ever” which was tweeted by Gameday analyst, Desmond Howard.

Virginia collegiate football has never been in the national spotlight because of states like Florida, Texas, California and Alabama who all have excellent football programs, but finally we are coming into our own and running away with the opportunity.

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