CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Having to find a way to beat a team that had beaten Virginia 15-straight times was a daunting enough task for UVA starting quarterback Bryce Perkins. But before he could worry about the Hokies, Perkins first had to worry about his own tonsils.
Against Liberty -- a game in which Perkins threw for 199 yards, rushed for 30 more and scored three total touchdowns -- Perkins was dealing with tonsillitis. It was severe enough to force the quarterback into the hospital overnight.
"I was getting tea on the sideline," Perkins said. "After the game, I went to the hospital and slept overnight because they were trying to work and put some antibiotics in me. And Monday, I went back to the doctor because my tonsils were really swollen, I couldn't talk and they had to drain my tonsils and really get in there."
Perkins said the doctors had to drain puss from his tonsils.
So with Virginia's in-state rival preparing to come to Scott Stadium, Perkins, Virginia's top playmaker, missed the first day of preparation.
"It was a rough first day of the week because man, I missed practice on Monday and had to come back on Tuesday still kind of feeling sick," he said.
When you lose 15-straight to a rival, the rivalry itself can mentally become harder to overcome than the actual opponent. It would have been very easy for Perkins to get down and think, "Oh man, here we go again." Instead, he fought through it.
Perkins credited Virginia's medical staff for helping him to recover so quickly.
"The sports medicine team, the doctors and everybody in this facility, they were working overnight and overtime just to get me back on my feet so shoutout to them and the great work they do and did because without them I probably wouldn't have been able to feel as better and as fast as I was," Perkins said.
There seemed to be no lingering effects on Saturday as Perkins threw for 311 yards, rushed for 164 and scored three total touchdowns to lead the Cavaliers to its first Commonwealth Cup since 2003 and its first ever Coastal Division crown.
For many, seeing puss drained out of your own tonsils would have been enough to put you out of commissions for a few days, but not for Perkins. Not even tonsillitis was going to keep him from getting to Virginia Tech.
"Ain't no chance," Perkins said. "As long as I could walk, I was going to play."
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