CHARLOTTE, NC (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Just three days away from Virginia football's third appearance in a Charlotte bowl game, the Cavaliers hit the practice field for the first time in the Queen City Wendesday afternoon.
Last season, the Wahoos snapped a nearly decade long streak without bowl play with a 49-7 loss to Navy in the Military Bowl. Now, head coach Bronco Mendenhall says the expectation is the same as its been all year.
"Now there's not as much shock and aw of what does the postseason look like," Mendenhall told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "Now its this is what it look slike and its not good enough just to be there. We intend to play well and the intent is to win."
Following last season's defeat in the Military Bowl, the Wahoos said playing postseason football wasn't good enough. They said after that game, the expectation is to win.
"There wasn't a player a year ago on my team, on our team that wasn't a grad transfer, that had ever been to a postseason game. When you're looking at an entire room of young people that the postseason was somem kind of phantom experience."
The Cavaliers have been preparing for South Carolina for two weeks. Mendenhall said the preparation was no different than any other game this season.
"This game and the preparation has been no different," Mendenhall said, "so they've been very consistent I'd say year long ranther than just specific to this game."
Mendenhall mentioned Thursday is about fine tuning things before Saturday's game. Now he's not looking at what is done on the field as much as how its done.
"We think one of the greatest sources of truth is body language," he said. "I'm not so much looking for what they say. I'm looking for not only what they do but how they're doing it. And they how they do it is the story behind our preparation."
The month off since the Cavaliers season-ending loss at Virginia Tech allowed Virginis to get healthy, with Mendenhall saying the team is healthier than before the Cavaliers season finale, adding everyone that was expected to make the trip to Charlotte traveled with the Cavaliers.