Clemson, Oct. 7
If Marques Hagans plays well at quarterback, Virginia should be 4-0 after playing at Temple and then hosting North Carolina, Akron and Syracuse in consecutive home games. That could move the Cavaliers into the top 10 entering a nationally televised game against Clemson in Charlottesville on a Thursday night.
Virginia's players will have revenge on their minds after losing to the Tigers, 30-27, in overtime last season. Virginia rallied from a 10-0 deficit after halftime, and tied the score at 24 on Alvin Pearman's one-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds left. But the Cavaliers could muster only a field goal on their opening overtime possession, and the Tigers won on Charlie Whitehurst's four-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Youngblood. The loss was a deflating one for the Cavaliers, who lost three of their next four games.
Whitehurst, who threw for 3,561 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, will give the Cavaliers' unproven secondary its first big test of the season. If Virginia beats Clemson, the stakes get even higher when the Cavs play at Florida State on Oct. 16. If Virginia wins in Tallahassee for the first time in school history, then the Cavs will be a legitimate contender for the ACC championship.