CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Bronco Mendenhall talked all season about how Virginia's Military Bowl loss motivated the team throughout the year. Now the team has new motivation -- win back-to-back bowl games.
Improving on the Cavaliers 8-5 season and Belk Bowl win could prove to be a challenge with the team losing a number of key play makers such as wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus, safety Juan Thornhill and running back Jordan Ellis. In all, the Cavaliers will need to replace five starters on offense and three on the defensive side of the ball.
"Its going to be definitely a little bit challenging with guys leaving, filling those spots," quarterback Bryce Perkins said. "Luckily we have a great group of guys coming back. And just, trying not to be satisfied with eight wins, with a bowl win and be hungrier next season. Bigger faster and stronger to lead into the next season."
Two players that will be back for the Cavaliers are Perkins and cornerback Bryce Hall. Both were breakout stars this past season with Hall considering making the jump to the NFL before announcing after Saturday's win he will return for his senior season.
"We're going to have to build, keep building," Hall added. "I think we're starting to get the numbers as far as recruiting and the bodies, so its going to take every bit of what we did this year even more. And now guys know what success leads to when you buy in and put in the work. So I think the buy ins going to be a lot more. So just keep doing what we're doing and adding fuel to the fire."