I've now had a few hours to digest the terrible performance I saw last night in Charlottesville. I found myself approaching this from a number of angles of incredulity, but the one that gave me the most heartburn was this elitist, Division 1 angle that kind of goes like this. UVA is D1, and though we are a middle of the road program among the big boys, we can and should make mincemeat of the little guys out there, even the "good" little guys. I am disabused of that notion forever, after last years terrible performance in barely beating Richmond and yesterday's thorough drubbing at the hands of a bunch of players the UVA scouts probably never bothered to look at.
Before I get to my defenestration of Al Groh and his hapless coaching staff, a few thoughts on the day itself.
--There are few places on earth that evoke more emotion for me than Charlottesville. Maybe Rome. Maybe the Outer Banks. But the first stroll down the lawn every football season en route to the tailgate (ably provided once again by Mark Senell and his crew) is a remarkably evocative event. So many memories, so many wonderful memories.
--I long for a day when the trip from my car to the stadium presents me with finished, working buildings, rather than a perpetual shell game of new construction. Just how many new buildings does UVA need, and why does it seem that every inch of open space must be turned into a new building?
--A moment or two on the venerable UVA ball cap, if you will. I have probably nearing a dozen UVA ball caps of one variety or another. Blue ones, white ones, orange ones, khaki ones. Selecting a new ball cap is a labor of love--low crown, fitted if possible. But I've noted a new trend in the caps that is most disturbing, especially to a conservative. And that is, the newer style ball-caps have a proliferation of little doo-dads and emblems on them, almost as if the cap is some sort of NASCAR automobile. I completely rejected this trend yesterday and bought a low-crown, fitted blue cap with the old school "V" in orange (no crossed swords underneath).
Now, onto the game.
--William and Mary beat us in every sense of the word. Their defense stopped us. Their offense rolled over us. They were more prepared. They didn't turn the ball over. They executed their game plan. Simply put, they were better coached.
--Al Groh must go, sooner rather than later. His defense was confused throughout much of the game by a relatively simple offense--coverage breakdowns in the secondary were routine. And HE is the defensive coordinator!
--But the defense was not nearly as bad as the offense--which was offensive. Virginia has three quarterbacks, each of whom could probably run the offense and win games--but because of the indecision in the coaching staff, all three presumably got a lot of reps in the Spring and in summer practices, leaving not one of the three ready to run the offense yesterday. The offense--by the way--is a version of the "spread" offense brought in by our new offensive coordinator--the former head coach at Bowling Green (who replaced the non-experienced son of the head coach Al Groh). The offense was ridiculous. I've never seen more poorly executed plays, nor an offense that just doesn't seem to be applicable to a wide set of circumstances. Every play is from the shotgun, there is no huddle, there was NO running game to speak of, and our QB's tried to run the ball way too often.
--We were beaten by a better football team yesterday. That they were better is the fault of UVA's coaching staff--and there need to be consequences for this. Groh must Go!