CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- As Virginia prepares for their first road trip of the season, Tony Elliott switched up the play list for practice on Tuesday.

"It's loud, it's very loud," senior offensive lineman Derek Devine said, "It's the same song, so it's annoying."

For those walking nearby the practice fields, it sounded like the Illinois marching band was performing live, on repeat. Elliott filled the air with the Fighting Illini fight song to prepare the Cavaliers for their upcoming trip to University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.

"We prepare for crowd noise," Elliott said on Tuesday, "Illinois's fight song was playing, so the guys by the time they go to sleep tonight that's all they're going to hear, just so they're prepared. You want to try and minimize as many distractions as possible."

Every minute on Tuesday the song would loop back as UVA attempted to move from period to period at practice. The strategy is one Elliott says he has become accustomed to from his time at Clemson.

Elliott hopes by the time game day rolls around, players will not even realize the band is playing. 

"That's helping the defense learn how to communicate with hand signals and helping us for a live game moment," junior cornerback Fentrell Cypress said, "Because everybody knows when all the fans are in there screaming and yelling it's hard to hear."

Since 2016, when Bronco Mendenhall took over, Virginia holds one of the worst road records among Power-5 programs going 8-23. Last season the Cavaliers finished 2-3 in road games with their two wins coming late with some help from opposing teams missing field goals.

"We're going into an enemy environment, away stadium," Devine said, "We don't know how loud it's going to be, it could be tough to hear the snap count."

Outside of the music selection, Elliott believes game week for a road trip should feel the same from Sunday through Thursday. The first change comes on Friday when the team flies to Champaign for their 4 p.m. ET kickoff on Saturday.

"Increase the chaos, on Saturday's it's chaos, so the more you perform," senior running back Perris Jones said, "Coach has a quote, the more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. So that's kind of the mentality there, the more chaos we can create and deal with in practice, the better off we'll be."

Injury Updates

Virginia should receive a few reinforcements for their trip to Illinois though. Tony Elliott said offensive tackle Jonathan Leech was suited up as an "emergency" option on Saturday against Richmond. Leech still has a cast on his left hand after having stitches removed, but Elliott says the senior is able to play with the cast on. The Cavaliers did not release a depth chart this week due to Illinois not providing one, but Elliott believes Leech will factor into the offensive line rotation.

After an impressive debut for starting running back Perris Jones, UVA will be even deeper in the backfield this weekend. Elliott says Ronnie Walker Jr. is fully cleared for contact, but still not at 100 percent after recovering from a leg injury in the spring. Walker will likely be a game time decision on Saturday, but Elliott did add Miami transfer Cody Brown will be back as well.

Slightly Different Look in UVA-Illinois Rematch

Almost a year ago exactly, UVA squared off with Illinois in a 42-14 win as Brennan Armstrong scored the Fighting Illini defense for 405 yards and five touchdowns. But as Illinois coach Bret Bielema points out there are a lot of new faces on the Virginia sideline for the return trip.

"Tremendous respect for their program," Bielema said, "It's a little bit unique right? We got to play them last year, and saw them take the victory kneel. I knew we were going to have to play them this year, not really expecting them to become a bowl eligible team, but obviously transitioning from Coach Mendenhall for whatever happened there. They're going to a new head coach, Coach Elliott, who has had tremendous respect in our business."

Bielema though has some familiarity with Virginia's two coordinators in Des Kitchings and John Rudzinski.

"Their offensive coordinator, Des Kitchings, is a guy I've had my eye on. He's an incredible football coach that has been very well thought of in our profession," Bielema said, "Their defensive coordinator, Coach Rud, is a guy that had been at Air Force. Coach Calhoun and I are very close, I have three coaches on my staff that were at Air Force, so they're very aware of how good of a coach he is and where he's at."