'Hoos hope to capitalize on home-field advantage

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- When talking about where his Virginia football team currently stands, Bronco Mendenhall simplified things rather nicely during his opening remarks on Monday at John Paul Jones Arena.

"If you consider it or you frame it basically as a playoff race, home-field advantage is something that we have for the remainder of the way," Mendenhall said. "Which gives us as good a shot as anyone to finish the way we would like to."

The Wahoos are in first place in the ACC's Coastal Division with two conference games to go. They'll play both of those games at home, starting this Saturday afternoon against Georgia Tech.

"This is definitely the best outcome, or the best situation that we could be in," UVA junior defensive lineman Mandy Alonso said. "Just being home games, and also with the bye week coming after this week."

"It's a one-week-at-a-time mentality," said UVA junior defensive back Chris Moore. "We know what's at stake. We've got all our goals still there. So it's one week at a time."

UVA is 6-3 overall this season, including wins in all four of the team's home games. Going back to the start of last year, the Cavaliers are 9-1 at Scott Stadium.

"Playing in front of our crowd is amazing," said UVA junior offensive lineman Chris Glaser. "The turnout that they've brought out, and the noise that they've brought to our home games is amazing. And to know that we won last week, it gives us momentum, and then coming into this week playing well."

Last Saturday night's wild 38-31 win at North Carolina kept UVA in control of its fate in the Coastal Division. It also snapped the Wahoos' three-game losing streak on the road.

On Monday, Mendenhall called that victory "really important, not only for the team but our program."

"Every win matters. And all the North Carolina game did was make this one more important than even that one," Mendenhall said. "Now, closing out a Coastal race is another challenge for this program. We know what that will look like. We know the work it will take, and how hard that will be. And so now all of that framing, it just goes right back to only Georgia Tech, and how important that game is."

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