Just a mind dump ….
– First off, I never expected to win this game. Not when before the season, not while the season was circling the drain, and not while the season was rebounding. What I expected was a classic Virginia road performance: close enough to be competitive, but never in any position to take the lead. Let’s call it Madison style, in honor of Al Groh’s first game.
– Having said that, I was a more than happy to see some fight in this team. They could’ve quit and waited for the game to run out. Instead, they clawed their way back into a position to make things interesting. In fact, if it wasn’t for that interception-turned-touchdown by Wake and that missed chance at a touchdown after Covington’s catch at 1 yard line, this game could’ve ended much differently.
– I think it’s now more than obvious that this defense’s biggest weakness is getting gashed up the middle. A tough, stout D should not be giving 4+ yards through its heart, especially against an unaccomplished running team like Wake. But all season, including during the winning streak, opponents have been able to run almost at will at times into the teeth of the 3-4. Something, anything, needs to done to address this weakness. Maybe cheat up a safety like Glaspy, who apparently doesn’t know how to cover a guy downfield anyway.
– Can we stop with the stupid rollout plays now? Did Mike Groh lose a bet with someone that requires him to call a bunch of destined-to-fail plays where Verica tries to look like Jameel Sewell but either gets sacked or throws a pass for almost no gain to John Phillips? I don’t get it. Marcus has been complaining about attempting to pass to Phillips out of this set for weeks (to no avail), but every single rollout play that I’ve seen attempted — passes, designed runs, whatever — have failed. Just because they worked for Jameel doesn’t mean they’ll work for Marc, no matter how much Whiteout gets dabbed on the playbook over Sewell’s name.
– Verica played okay. Some mistakes, but still some more-than-solid accuracy. If this was an “off day” for him, we might want to start thinking about other places to deploy Sewell next year. I can’t think of any, unfortunately.
– Given how important the Clemson game is now for bowl eligibility purposes, thank goodness of the bye week.