Getting healthy the Wahoos' top goal over bye week

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Bronco Mendenhall couldn't contain himself at the mention of his team's second bye weekend on the schedule.

"Thank goodness," Virginia's football coach said mid-question during his postgame news conference, following the Cavaliers' 33-28 win against Georgia Tech at Scott Stadium last Saturday.

UVA improved to 7-3 overall and 5-2 in ACC play with that victory, keeping the Wahoos atop the Coastal Division standings. They've got two more games at home on the schedule, against non-conference Liberty and then Virginia Tech -- but not until UVA enjoys its second weekend off this year.

"Based on the current standing of our team, the number one goal for this week is recovery and healing," Mendenhall said. "That doesn't mean that we're going to the spa, but we need to recover, and we need to get as healthy as possible."

Injuries have been racking up in the UVA secondary all season, where the Wahoos have lost both cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Darrius Bratton, and safety Brenton Nelson for the season. Safety Chris Moore left Saturday's win with a first-half leg injury, pressing cornerback Heskin Smith -- who only practiced once last week after missing four games with a knee injury.

"Some shoulders, elbows. All the joints you could think of," safety Joey Blount said. "People are hurt, but this week off is really going to help. Get our bodies back under us. Really lock in, not just physically but mentally, get your mind back into it. Get your mind off, let it rest, and get a jump on the next week."

UVA's injury issues aren't confined to the defensive backfield. Lethal kick returner Joe Reed wasn't available on special teams against Georgia Tech, because of an injury he suffered at North Carolina. And on offense, quarterback Bryce Perkins has been hindered by a knee injury for much of the year.

But after throwing for 258 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 106 yards and a score against Georgia Tech, Perkins said everyone in the UVA locker room will benefit from the mid-November down time presented by the schedule.

"Man. A lot," Perkins replied when asked how much better he feels on a Monday following a bye week.

"It's incredible how just a week, the workload goes down, and just how well we take care of our bodies. And definitely even better after we come off a bye after a win," Perkins said. "A lot of rehab for a lot of people, and get everybody, just nicks and bruises, get it healed up and get ready for these last two."