Check back every Wednesday for the Cavaliers Report to get all the biggest Virginia headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.
Virginia 3-6, (2-3) in the ACC
In the news
Nicholson nominated for Courage Award: Senior cornerback Demetrious Nicholson was named a 2015 Orange Bowl-FWAA Award nominee. In order to be nominated, one must display courage on and off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship.
Nicholson's mother was 12 when he was born. She went to high school and nursing school while taking care of Nicholson and his great-grandmother who suffered from lupus and heart ailments. Nicholson lost his great-grandmother in 2009 and 4-month-old sister to sudden infant death syndrome.
During the 2013 season, Nicholson was diagnosed with turf toe. After re-aggravating the injury in the spring, he was limited to only one game in 2014. He has played in seven games this season.
The winner of the award will receive his trophy in an on-field presentation during the Orange Bowl.
Frye earns ACC honor: Ian Frye was named the ACC Specialist of the Week for his performance Saturday against Miami. Frye matched a career-high four field goals which he kicked from 25, 48, 36 and 47 yards.
This is the first time Frye has been named ACC Specialist of the Week this season and third of his career.
Last week's game: 27-21 loss at Miami
Virginia gave up big plays, took too many penalties, and managed to reach the end zone only once in a loss to Miami. Given all that, it was fairly remarkable that Virginia was able to keep the game close.
With the loss, the Cavaliers have now dropped 14 straight road games including 12 conference contests. It also puts UVa's already fleeting bowl chances in further jeopardy.
The Cavaliers now must win their three remaining games to reach bowl eligibility or they will miss out on the postseason for the fourth-consecutive season, the longest streak since its first bowl appearance in 1984.
This week: Virginia at Louisville, Sat. 12:30 p.m.
Saturday provides Virginia with their last chance at a road win this season, but it comes against a tough Louisville squad that has won three-straight.
When Louisville first entered the ACC, it looked like the Atlantic Division had added a third power that would dominate the conference next to Clemson and Florida State. That has not been the case.
Virginia handed the Cardinals their first ACC loss last season and after Louisville started this season 0-3, it was clear it would be another down year for Bobby Petrino's squad. They have rebounded somewhat in recent weeks to improve their record to 5-4 on the season and will look to reach bowl eligibility on Saturday with a win over UVa.
The Cavaliers have managed to find a bit of a groove on offense recently, but they will face a very tough test from Louisville's defense. The Cardinals boast the No. 15 defense in terms of total yards this season including the No. 11 rush defense. The run-heavy strategy Virginia has employed in recent weeks is not going to work here. They need to be able to pass the ball and this doesn't mean simply dumping the ball off to Taquan Mizzell, it means getting it into the hands of Canaan Severin.
Against Notre Dame, offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild did a tremendous job getting Severin open by using different formations and lining him up at various spots all over the field. The defense was not able to keep track of him and as a result he caught 11 passes for 153 yards. This was before T.J. Thorpe had returned from injury meaning Severin was the only real receiving threat the Cavs had and he was still able to get free. They need a similar performance on Saturday.
The quarterback carousel in Louisville means you can never be 100 percent sure who will line up under center for the Cardinals, but Virginia should expect to see Kyle Bolin who took all the reps in last week's win over Syracuse. Bolin, a pocket passer, has thrown for 795 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
A Cavalier defense that has struggled to force turnovers this season will get their chances on Saturday as they face one of the few teams that has given the ball away more times than Virginia. Louisville has turned the ball over a staggering 21 times this season. Turnovers will provide the Cavaliers the opportunity to flip field position which could prove key against a tough Louisville defense.
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