David Watford doesn't want to hear about the numbers any more.
Virginia's redshirt sophomore quarterback had a career day a week ago, and so did two of his favorite targets, but the bottom line made it all seem kind of meaningless. The Cavaliers lost 35-25 to Georgia Tech, pushing their losing streak to five games and with no more margin for error this season.
If Virginia (2-6, 0-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) wants to go to a bowl game, it can't lose again.
"I know any of my guys would trade the stats and all the accolades for a boatload of wins, and I would do the same thing," Watford said this week. "It just shows we just have to keep working, because we can do both. We can have crazy numbers, crazy stats and still win a lot of games. So that's what we're really focused on, and each week we're getting closer and closer, so we just have to keep pushing."
The Cavaliers will have their hands full when No. 9 Clemson visits on Saturday. The Tigers (7-1, 5-1) have a dynamic passing duo of their own in quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Boyd, a native of Hampton, is second only to N.C. State's Phillip Rivers with 10,296 career passing yards and 15 300-yard games, and Watkins is among the most dazzling players in college football.
On film, the Tigers see what Virginia can be, rather than what it has been in losing 14 of its last 18 games dating back to last season, defensive back Korrin Wiggins said, and the Tigers will be ready.
"You always respect the opponent, respect what they have," Wiggins said. "You never go in thinking these guys aren't good enough. Their guys are on scholarship as well, so you have to respect that."
On scholarship, and frustrated.
In the past three weeks, Virginia has repeatedly seen drives end when it failed to convert in short-yardage situations. Against the Yellow Jackets, it had a first-and-goal at the 2, and didn't score on two tries before halftime.
"It's frustrating. I don't know what other way to put it," tight end Zachary Swanson said. "Those are the must-have situations. You gotta convert on fourth down and you gotta punch it in right before half. That's what you gotta do to win football games."
The meeting is the first between the teams since 2009, and barring a meeting in the ACC championship, they won't face off against until 2020.