The stuff you won’t read on the Washington Post blogs.
Tar Heel Fan analyzes the loss:
The further I get from the UVa loss the more I am inclined to think losing Brandon Tate and Shaun Draughn running for 138 yards had a lot to do with how the offense functioned. The dynamics of the offense are completely different than they were last week or 2-3 weeks back. Cam Sexton has been good but I still think TJ Yates is more effective. If you take Tate out of the offense suddenly the passing game is a lot less dangerous than it once was and UVA, to their credit, made the adjustment. The offense looked like a unit going through a transition and attempting to find it’s identity again. Yes, it falls on the coaches to work this out in practice but it is not like there was a lot of time to do that. If UNC could have won this game it would have been a flat out steal considering the offense is in flux. As for the defense, the coaches bear most of the burden of blame. Yes, the players did not execute it well and were a little soft in terms of the coverage but it is not like there have not been two games already where that has happened. You give any QB plenty of time he will find someone open, it is too difficult to cover everyone for longer than about four seconds.
I hadn’t mentioned Tate yet, but I agree that losing a dynamic playmaker was probably an issue for an offense that was hardly dynamic and seemed to lack playmakers. And it sounds like this prevent-the-win defense is an ongoing problem with the Heels. Thinking back now on their previous games, I guess we should’ve seen it coming.
MelbourneHoo adds his voice to the chorus on the prevent defense, but disagrees with me on Butch’s clock killing at the end of regulation:
Butch Davis had a choice in front of him when there was less than a minute on the clock. Butch’s offense had turned the ball over 3 times and should have one more time. UVA’s offense had not been a threat for 58 minutes. UNC had no timeouts. UNC had blocked a FG and an extra point (even though it went through). UVA’s kicker was young and inexperienced. UNC had only given up 3 points in its base defense.
These reasons make me believe that UNC should not have tried to get into FG position and risk a turnover with a sporadic QB. The better option for them was overtime. The only thing UVA had going for them was their defense, and they were pumped up from the last drive. After UVA had captured momentum, it made sense to slow the game down and go to overtime where UNC could run a controlled offense and drive on the Hoos. Up to this point in the game, the UNC offense could move the ball just by pounding it up the middle in the absence of Rasi and Appleby. UVA’s offense had not moved the ball with any consistency. Most importantly, UNC had to like their chances in a kicking contest with the Hoos. These reasons alone justify Butch’s decision.
Brenden reviews the final Virginia flurry:
After Verica lofted a beauty to Phillips for first-and-goal in OT, I was praying for handoffs to Peerman. Just punch it up the gut. Lo and behold, they just punched it up the gut and scored. I’m fond of being critical of Mike Groh, but, give him credit for not getting too fancy near the goal line. He tried the fanciness once and it almost caused a game-ending interception. Good for him, filing that idea where it belonged and keeping it simple on the next three calls. Good for him also, finally ditching the sideways crap on the final drive after the umpteenth completion for zero yards and sending his receivers to the soft spots in the zone. And Verica? Still looks like a fifth-year senior out there. It helps that his linemen are giving him a near-perfect pocket all day long, but even when it breaks down he’s always got his wits about him.