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Earning ACC win next step in Virginia's progression

Countless times this season, first-year Virginia Coach Mike London has called his squad a "work in progress," and that's certainly true. The Cavaliers are introducing a new offense, a new defense and -- more broadly -- a new culture, and that all takes time to settle in.

By and large, the team has treated the 2010 campaign as one giant figurative checklist. Virginia won its season opener for the first time since 2005. The Cavaliers avoided losing to the two 1-AA opponents -- Richmond and Virginia Military Institute -- and the one hapless 1-A foe -- Eastern Michigan -- on its schedule.

And now it's on to the next step: defeating an Atlantic Coast Conference team. Virginia has not won an ACC game in its last nine tries. The last conference opponent the Cavaliers beat was Maryland on Oct. 17, 2009. They've lost their first three league games this season, and their opponent Saturday -- Miami -- is ranked No. 22 in the country.

"It's important now, as you start going along," London said of claiming an ACC victory. "First it was to play well and get a couple wins. Well, we beat, you know, the teams I guess we were supposed to beat. And then the next thing was, Well, you guys haven't beat a BCS opponent.' Well, we did that, so that's another success. So now, another series of trying to put some successes together.

"The rest of the games are conference games, so with all that being said, now the object or the goal is to play well and to win some conference games. This next game up is the next game on the conference schedule, and it happens to be a very good Miami team. But the goal hasn't changed about trying to play well and trying to win, particularly when it's a home game again."

By Steve Yanda  | October 26, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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