There is only one person currently with the Virginia football program who played in the Cavaliers’ most recent November victory. Graduate assistant Gordie Sammis was a reserve guard for Virginia four seasons ago, and he took the field for the Cavaliers’ 48-0 victory at Miami on Nov. 10, 2007.
Virginia has played 13 games in November since then and has lost every single one.
For several reasons, the Cavaliers (5-3, 2-2 ACC) hope to end that trend Saturday at Maryland (2-6, 1-4). For starters, it would make them bowl eligible for the first time since 2007. It also would give them consecutive ACC wins for the first time under second-year Coach Mike London. And it would keep their distant hopes of playing in the conference championship game alive.
Oh, and it would snap that November losing streak they keep hearing about.
“That’s one of those things that’s been written about and talked about,” London said Thursday. “You guys always remind us about it, so we don’t talk about it. It is what it is. It’s out there. And the only way that you take care of those types of things is competing and putting yourself in a position where you take care of it. I don’t think that’s looming over our head as far as November.”
Twelve Virginia players and four Cavaliers coaches – including London and Sammis – were a part of the team back in 2007, though Sammis was the only one who actually played that season.
Wide receiver Kris Burd, defensive tackle Matt Conrath, fullback Terence Fells-Danzer, kicker Chris Hinkebein, defensive tackle Nick Jenkins, cornerback Dom Joseph, center Anthony Mihota, fullback Max Milien, cornerback Chase Minnifield, safety Corey Mosley, wide receiver Matt Snyder and linebacker Aaron Taliaferro all redshirted in 2007.
While many of them didn’t make the road trip to Miami that season, they all would have been able to experience a November victory the previous week when Virginia defeated Wake Forest, 17-16, at home on Nov. 3, 2007. So they’ve seen it happen, but no current Virginia player has actively participated in a November win.
In 2007, London was the team’s defensive coordinator, Anthony Poindexter was the running backs coach and Vincent Brown was a graduate assistant. Poindexter is now the special teams coordinator and safeties coach. Brown now serves as the linebackers coach. They remember the experience of a November triumph with the Cavaliers, too, though they’d sure like a fresher memory.
“The biggest thing for us is another conference game, another chance to go on the road and win again,” London said. “We can take care of [the November losing streak] by playing a good and winning the game.”