Players were setting personal bests at surprising rates in terms of amount of weight lifted and number of times they could lift set amounts of weight. In coach
"During the open week, they maxed on their bench presses and power cleans, and there were 25 or 30 new maxes," said London, whose team will be going for its third straight win against
Last season, U.Va. (3-6, 1-4) managed to work its way into the
While using late-season weight room exploits as a catalyst for on-field success may seem like nothing more than the football coaches' version of Motivational Speaking 101, it appears to be working. U.Va.'s players are buying into the concept.
"It's crazy to kind of see this far into the season guys are getting new reps (and weight maxes)," said U.Va. defensive tackle Brent Urban, who had one of the Cavaliers' season-high six sacks against the Wolfpack, and who said he's been able to achieve a new personal max on the bench press. "It's something like more than half the guys are getting new maxes, so that's great to see."
As far as the actual on-field plans for Miami, London said early this week he'll continue to use an unconventional two-quarterback system with Phillip Sims and Michael Rocco that helped U.Va. outgain N.C. State 446-216 in yards. Of course, U.Va.'s defense made life easy for the offense by holding a third straight opponent under 236 yards, including 19 rushing yards, and forcing N.C. State to commit five turnovers.
"If we'd lost that game, we'd still have three games to play, but there's nothing to look forward to," said U.Va. linebacker Daquan Romero, a Phoebus High graduate who's slated to get his second career start Saturday. "This was like a spark. It's like a spark to win this game. This was a game that we needed, and we actually came together as a team. We talked about it. We ate it. We slept it. That's what we were focused on."
After beating Virginia Tech 30-12 on Nov. 1, Miami isn't short on confidence, either. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak and put Miami in control of its own destiny in the ACC's Coastal Division standings.
Getting a handle on freshman running back
U.Va.'s challenge became more difficult Thursday when freshman defensive end Eli Harold, a pass rush specialist who started his first career game at N.C. State, was ruled out for the Miami game due to unspecified medical reasons.
There has been talk Miami may choose to self-impose a postseason ban to hopefully lighten possible impending