MG VT UVa 112919 (copy)

University of Virginia head football coach Bronco Mendenhall walks on the field during the 2019 season.

There was an expected shortage of scoops as Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall zoomed across the computer screens of UVa beat reporters Thursday.

All anybody really wants to know if the season will start as scheduled Sept. 7 at Georgia.

Developments with the coronavirus will play a big role with that.

“I think football will start in the fall,” Mendenhall said. “It’s too soon to decide whether it will start on time and what it will look like.

“The way I think about it, simply, is that football supports and enhances humanity. If it’s seen philosophically as more important, then I’m not for that.

“My hope is that we can play it for a boost in spirit and a sense of community to rally around. Then there’s the financial component of helping the athletic department and the other sports.”

Predictably, conversation turned to the quarterback situation and the addition of a transfer quarterback, Keytaon Thompson from Mississippi State.

It’s almost become a rite of summer for the Cavaliers, who, during the four-year Mendenhall era, have added such former FBS transfers as Connor Brewer, Kurt Benkert and Bryce Perkins.

Brennan Armstrong, the back-up to Perkins last season, goes into preseason workouts — if there is such a thing — as the leading candidate to start on opening day. Also back is reserve Lindell Stone, a fourth-year junior who played in two games last year.

“Lindell Stone is capable of getting us out of any game and any situation basically as a coach-player,” Mendenhall said. “He’s really smart and really sharp and manages the offense masterfully.”

A fourth scholarship quarterback, Ira Armstead, enrolled in the spring, and UVa has two quarterbacks committed for 2020, Jay Woolfolk from Benedictine in Richmond and Jacob Rodriguez from Wichita Falls, Texas.

So, theoretically, Virginia could have six scholarship quarterbacks in 2021.

“We’re kind of used to not having the spring practice quarterback development part,” Mendenhall said. “Would I have liked it. Yes? Did it hurt us and set us back? Yep.

“If I had to do it again and we had to vote whether we had it or not have it, I would have liked to have liked to have it. But, we didn’t. So, we’ll make the most of it and do the very best we can when we get our team back.”

As for the certainty — or uncertainty — of college football being played this coming fall, Mendenhall was asked about the possibility of games being played without fans in the stands.

“It’s less than ideal,” Mendenhall said of that concept. “It’s no one’s favorite. Given the circumstances we’re in and if it’s safe and if it’s appropriate and if that’s our only option, then there’s a possibility.

“As long as other students are allowed back on Grounds as well, in whatever numbers those are, then possibly it would be appropriate.”

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