Remember back in 2009, when Virginia opened its football season with a 26-14 loss to Division I-AA William & Mary? Yeah, so do the Cavaliers that played in that game and remain on the team’s roster.

One such player, senior cornerback Chase Minnifield, said Sunday that the Cavaliers plan to prepare for their next encounter with William & Mary much differently. Virginia hosts the Tribe on Sept. 3 in its 2011 season opener.

“I’m not even looking at this opener like it’s William & Mary, which I think that we did that year,” Minnifield said. “We kind of was like, ‘Okay, that’s William & Mary,’ and we didn’t know much about William & Mary. We just knew it was a lesser school.

“We’re going to take this team as if it’s a regular game, and we’re going to attack it like it’s any other game. I respect their team. I respect their coach. He had some great schemes against us two years ago. I know it’s going to be a tough game, honestly.”

That approach should prove useful, especially considering at least one national prognosticator – the widely renowned Phil Steele – has slotted William & Mary as the No. 1 division I-AA team in the country in his preseason poll. The Tribe returns 13 starters from a 2010 squad won the Colonial Athletic Association crown and was the No. 2 seed in the I-AA playoffs.