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UVA Hosts Pitt on Saturday for Homecomings

UVA starts off a three-game homestand on Saturday against Pitt.

Oct. 10, 2016

 Virginia vs. Pitt • #PITTvsUVA
Date/Time Sat., Oct. 15, 2016 | 12:30 p.m.
Location Charlottesville, Va. | Scott Stadium (61,500)
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Coach Mendenhall Weekly Press Conference Transcript

Virginia Welcomes Pitt to Scott Stadium
• Virginia returns to action on Saturday when the Cavaliers welcome the Pitt Panthers to Scott Stadium for Homecomings. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.

It is Homecomings in Charlottesville
• Saturday is Homecomings at UVA and the Cavaliers own a 46-43-2 (.516) all-time Homecomings record.
• UVA's last win on Homecomings was last year when the Cavaliers defeated Syracuse, 44-38, in three overtimes.

Virginia Coming off a Bye Week
• Virginia is 27-30 all-time when playing a game after a bye week.
• Virginia has won six of its last nine games coming out of a bye week.
Bronco Mendenhall was 10-4 coming off a bye week during his 11-year stint at BYU.

Five Top Storylines
• Saturday is the 85th anniversary of the first game played at Scott Stadium on Oct. 15, 1931. UVA welcomed the VMI Keydets in the inaugural game, losing 18-3. Virginia is 5-3 all-time at Scott Stadium when playing on its anniversary date, including winning four in a row (1966, 1994, 2005, 2011). Current UVA statistician Dr. John Risher, age 106, stood on the sidelines as a member of the Cavalier football team during that inaugural game. 
• The series between UVA and Pitt began in 1953, but until the Panthers joined the ACC in 2013, these two teams only met twice in the regular season between 1956 and 2012. 
• Last time out, on Oct. 1, UVA intercepted five passes at Duke. That tied a team record and was the 10th time the mark had been set by a UVA team. Bryce Hall and Juan Thornhill led the way with two picks, while Quin Blanding had one interception. 
• With an 84-yard pass at Duke and an 82-yard pass against Central Michigan, UVA quarterback Kurt Benkert became the first Cavalier to have passes of 80+ yards in back-to-back games. Benkert is the only QB in the nation with two passes of 82 or more yards this season. 
Bronco Mendenhall is only the second UVA head coach to win his ACC debut. Al Groh  was the first in 2001 vs. then-No. 19 Clemson. While Mendenhall beat Duke, George Welsh (1982), Dick Bestwick (1976), Sonny Randle (1974), Don Lawrence (1971), George Blackburn (1965), Bill Elias (1961) and Ben Martin (1956) all lost their ACC debuts for UVA against Duke.

The Series vs. The Panthers
•  Pittsburgh leads the all-time series by a 5-3 margin.
•  Between 1956 and 2012 UVA and Pitt only met twice in the regular season and once in a bowl game. Once Pitt joined the ACC in 2013, the two programs have met every season as members of the ACC Coastal Division.  
• Until UVA's 44-14 win in the 2007 Scott Stadium meeting, Pittsburgh had won all three regular-season meetings. The Panthers won 26-0 in Charlottesville in 1953, 18-7 in Pittsburgh in 1955 and 38-13 in Pittsburgh in 2006.
• Virginia's 23-16 win over Pittsburgh in the 2003 Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., has been one of the most closely contested game of the series.
• UVA's Tony Franklin played a big role on defense in the bowl game to end Larry Fitzgerald's 18-game streak with a touchdown reception. 
• The teams seesawed back and forth in the first half with Virginia holding a 17-13 lead at halftime. The second half featured only field goals in UVA's seven-point win. Matt Schaub closed his stellar career by capturing MVP honors after passing for 244 yards. Former Pittsburgh Steeler tight end Heath Miller had a big day for UVA with four receptions for 84 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown reception from Schaub late in the first quarter for the game's first score.

More on the Pitt Series Durig the Lean 1950's
•  The 26-0 loss in 1953 remains one of the worst offensive performances in the modern era of UVA football. The Cavaliers recorded three first downs, an all-time low, and had just 43 yards of total offense, their second-lowest modern-day total.
• Pittsburgh scored on its first possession 5:52 into the contest and scored in every quarter to win.
• In 1955, UVA ended more than 80 scoreless minutes against Pitt when halfback Ralph Kneeland scored UVA's first touchdown in the series on an eight-yard run at the 9:39 mark of the second quarter. That score gave UVA a brief 7-6 lead, but Pitt halfback Lou Cimarolli scored the game-winner on a 32-yard dash midway through the third quarter.

Virginia - Pitt connections
Pitt special teams coordinator and running backs coach Andre Powell coached at Virginia under George Welsh from 1996-2000. While on Grounds Powell coached future NFL players Tiki Barber, Germaine Crowell, Thomas Jones, Charles Kirby, Pat Washington and Terrence Wilkins. Powell coached running backs in 1996 and 2000. From 1997-99 he coached wide receivers.
• UVA's freshman OLB Eric Gallon's father, Eric Gallon Sr., spent the 2013-14 seasons coaching at Youngstown State with current Pitt defensive line coach Tom Sims


 

 

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Jeff White

Director of News Content

jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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