Virginia prepares for Orange Bowl matchup against Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WDBJ7) -- The Virginia Cavaliers are getting set for Florida in Monday night's Orange Bowl.

With a second straight bowl win, the 'Hoos would secure a tenth win in a season for just the second time in school history. The only other time it happened was in 1989. And for the current group of seniors, who lost to Richmond as freshmen in Bronco Mendenhall's first season, capping their careers in the Orange Bowl is surreal.

"It's wild. You go back four years ago and you say in four years this Virginia team will play in the Orange Bowl and people may have laughed at you but people bought in to Coach Mendenhall and his staff and what they were preaching and each year we got better and better and we are here now. So looking back on it is going to be an amazing thing that we did here," said Eli Hanback, Virginia defensive tackle.

Defensive end Mandy Alonso will finish the season in his hometown of Miami, in a game that he remembers watching as a kid growing up. And perhaps no one better understands the pageantry and prestige of the Orange Bowl better than he does.

"The Orange Bowl is a huge game down here and it's been a historic game and I grew up watching it every year. For it to be one of the New Year's Six bowls, it's big time and it's an amazing feeling that I get to play in the Orange Bowl. It hasn't really hit me yet but when I step into the stadium it will definitely hit me soon," said Alonso.

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