Wahoos struggle to solve road woes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Associated Press released its latest national college football poll on Sunday afternoon – and for the first time all season, Virginia didn’t receive a single vote. In the coaches poll, the Wahoos got a season-low two votes.

Earlier this season, UVA spent five weeks in the AP Top 25 and four weeks in the coaches poll, peaking at No. 18 in both after the program’s first 4-0 start since 2004. But Saturday’s 28-21 loss at Louisville – a game the Cavaliers entered as a 3 1/2-point favorite on the road – was UVA’s third loss in the last four games, with all three of those losses coming away from Scott Stadium.

“We didn’t prepare well enough today to win. I don’t think it has anything to do with where we play,” UVA senior defensive lineman Eli Hanback said following Saturday’s loss. “We really emphasize taking our game and putting it somewhere else, and that’s something we talk about a lot. So I don’t think, at least defensively – and I’m sure offensively as well – that’s not something we think about.”

The Wahoos opened the season by beating Pitt 30-14 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. But including that win, UVA is just 2-7 in true road games the past two seasons – while 9-1 at home. The Cavaliers have won multiple road games in a season under head coach Bronco Mendenhall just once – in 2017, when UVA picked up victories at Boise State and North Carolina.

UVA will travel to Chapel Hill again this coming weekend, with first place in the Coastal Division at stake in Saturday night’s game against the Tar Heels. Both teams are currently 3-2 in ACC play.

“It’s hard to say, because everyone wants to say that we’re struggling on the road because we’ve lost the last three. But a game is a game. You just pick it up and move it somewhere,” UVA junior linebacker Zane Zandier said on Saturday. “So yeah, I don’t know. We’re struggling on the road, obviously, but I don’t think it’s a mental aspect of it.”

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