Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall takes a look at IU

Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall began his week with some thoughts on Indiana, which will face the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Mendenhall’s comments from his weekly press conference follow:

Question: Anybody who watched Indiana the other night saw tempo, tempo, tempo. You’re someone who has a lot of experience with that. That hasn’t been something you guys have done so far here. How do you prepare them for that tempo? Will you do anything differently in practice this week?

Bronco Mendenhall: “The best we can. It’s not possible to simulate. In the first half versus Ohio State, Indiana ran more plays than we defended the entire game the other night, so you’re looking at almost double the output in terms of energy expenditure and volume of plays. So, but you also have to have a healthy fast and fresh team. And so we have some ideas and obviously having defended our own offense for a long time at Brigham Young and a year ago we had a small taste of it against Oregon. So we have ideas. But, again, each team, each roster, you have to manage it a little bit differently. So we’re working on that now.”

Question: When you think of scheduling Indiana, it hasn’t been a traditional opponent, but do you like the idea of a Big Ten team of that stature?

Bronco Mendenhall: “I think the idea of that stature now, I think probably when the game was scheduled not having been here, my guess was that Indiana wasn’t as powerful or wasn’t as strong or wasn’t coming off a bowl game and was an opponent that might have had some intrigue as a Power 5 opponent, but one that wasn’t as strong. And that’s changed since the time it was scheduled to where they’re a very good team.”

Question: You’ve touched on Indiana, but can you give us your overall impressions of them?

Bronco Mendenhall: “Yeah. Man, really a fast team that’s been very intentional and specific about the type of players that they have selected and recruited with a very clear brand of how they want to play the game, which allows you to attract players when you’re very really clear about your brand and the type of play that you would like. Then you can select players and sometimes get a little bit higher quality in relation to what you need versus kind of the national competitive market place.

“So I think they have done a nice job attracting and developing players in a style that gives them a competitive advantage versus their peers. Pretty unique in that league. And even though there’s tempo, they’re a physical football team. I think they’re tough, they’re physical, they run for not only yards, but with toughness and defensively, they play hard. And I think they’re physical as well.

“So a great matchup or a great yard stick coming from, obviously, the state of Utah and our rival there (at BYU), the University of Utah, played them in their bowl game a year ago. And Indiana ran the ball effectively, was physical against a physical team, and matched blow for blow and had a great chance to win the game. So that’s a pretty reliable metric for me in terms of a point of reference.”

Question: I’m curious, I don’t know if you have a sense, but did your guys watch Indiana/Ohio State?

Bronco Mendenhall: “I didn’t ask them. And I don’t even remember what night they played. Thursday? Yeah. So I didn’t see it and I don’t know how many of my players watched it.”

Question: The fact that they were competitive at least for a half does that, do you think, grab people’s attention, does it grab your attention?

Bronco Mendenhall: “Oh yeah, it didn’t take that game to grab my attention. Again I watched them play in a bowl game a year ago. That’s not by accident. It’s a good league, they’re a good team, and I mean our players are smart. Again, we use the phrase real recognizes real they only have to watch a series or two of film and they know that it’s a good team.”