Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 11/15/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night

WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point Contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes

WATCH: Klay Thompson beats teammate Steph Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA Skills Challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

College Football 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker