Originally written November 15, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
Mike London was a happy man as he answered questions on Sept. 8 following his teams 17-16 victory over Penn State on national television. It was a signature win for a program that hasnt had many since George Welsh retired more than a decade ago. It was something Virginia could build on, or at least should have built on. Fifty-six days later, London stood before the media following another Cavaliers victory; their only win since the afternoon they fended off the Nittany Lions. His team pulled off a shocker at N.C. State, yet the coach didnt seem all that surprised. A week later and Virginia has now bookended that six-game losing streak with a pair of victories. The last two in impressive fashion 33-6 at N.C. State and 41-40 at home over Miami. The possible reward to keep this going for two more games is a bowl game, something that didnt seem even remotely possible two weeks ago. During the elapsed time, Virginia (4-6, 2-4 ACC) entered into a swoon as unbecoming as any the program has experienced since Welshs early days in the 1980s. It began with a 56-20 loss at Georgia Tech and ended with a 16-10 home defeat to Wake Forest. It saw a change at quarterback, as maligned junior Michael Rocco gave way to ballyhooed talent Phillip Sims, a transfer from Alabama, who was one of the most highly-recruited players in the nation a few years ago. Sims, though, was unable to get the Cavs offense going, and now London is using both players depending on circumstance. Its working. An open date following the loss to Wake allowed the coaching staff to go back to square one. It was chicken soup for the Cavaliers football souls. Ill tell you, the moment was the Sunday after the game that we played, the last game that we lost going into that bye (week) was we were just going to work on ourselves, London said. We were just going to work on the techniques and the fundamentals of trying to make ourselves better, to execute. The Wahoos scrimmaged a few times that week getting extra snaps in for even the players being redshirted. In once particular scrimmage among the younger players on the roster, London said the veterans were serving as cheerleaders. Things got fun again, and the players loosened up. It showed immediately in the first game after the open date when the Cavs scored right away at N.C. State and ended the first quarter leading 14-0. A safety made it 16-0 and the lead reached 26-0 going into the fourth quarter. It was a dominant performance. Last Saturdays victory over the Hurricanes, courtesy of a Jake McGee touchdown reception with six seconds remaining, was another sign of growth. Virginia lost a shootout with Louisiana Tech earlier in the season and then scored a total of just 47 points in the next three games before the break. The Cavaliers have totaled 74 points in the last two contests and host a North Carolina (6-4, 3-3) team Thursday night that has surrendered 103 points in its last two outings. This isnt the same Virginia club that rolled over and died early at TCU, didnt bother showing up for the second half at Duke, and found a way to lose at home to Maryland. Not even close. I think you always look for some sort of spark, whether its offensively, defensively, or from just the mentality of when good things happen, London said. And I think it can become a snowball effect. People are ruled by the psychology of results, and you win a big game, a homecoming on somebody elses (N.C. State) turf, you come home, you play a very good team (Miami) and to win last second that helps the psyche. When you look at them now, theyre very positive about where they are in the last two games, particularly winning the way that weve had to win, close, and then win conventionally, and I think it just breeds confidence. A win over UNC coupled with a victory at struggling rival Virginia Tech to close the season would get the Wahoos into a bowl game. But their focus right now is versus the Tar Heels in the oldest rivalry in the South.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Cavaliers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.