In addition to the approximately 10,000 fans Virginia has brought to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, some followers of the Cavaliers already live here.
One of those is Virginia graduate Hill Riddle, the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans. Riddle said some friends from his native Old Dominion have kidded him about his new home.
“I would tell them, ‘I’m going to live in New Orleans until Virginia plays in the Sugar Bowl.’ And then I would roll with laughter because I knew that would never happen.
“Well, I guess I’ve got to find another excuse to stay here now.”
Virginia defensive back Jason Wallace is a graduate of Bethel High School in Hampton, Va., as is Tennessee’s Todd Kelly, a sophomore defensive end for the Volunteers.
Wallace, a senior who also returns punts for the Cavaliers, said he and Kelly spoke extensively while they were home for Christmas.
“We wished each other our best game ever,” Wallace said. “No matter the outcome, we hope the other does well.”
Tennessee cornerbacks Jeremy Lincoln and J.J. McCleskey become the latest defenders to try to contain Herman Moore, Virginia’s 6-foot-5 All-American wide receiver and three-time ACC high-jump champion. “He’s a concern to us, as he probably has been to every secondary they’ve played this year,” Lincoln said. “He’s tall, rangy and can jump. I may need a stepladder. I’m just 5-11 and J.J.'s not real tall either. Maybe we can put J.J. on my back and together we can play one corner to cover him.”