Sunday, November 9, 2008

you can blame me if you like

Yesterday was one of those days. You know, where the team plays like ass so you get up disgustedly from your chair to go do something else, only you can't really let go of the game so you check up on it and lo and behold, they've done some good things so you sit back down and they immediately screw things up, and you get up and leave again and you come back a bit later only to watch them blow the golden opportunity they were handed while you were away....and so on. And the only possible conclusion is that you're jinxing the team by having the TV on. That was me yesterday. If I hadn't turned on the TV and just taken a nap, maybe things would have gone differently, you never know. I mean, we didn't do a damn thing right against UNC until I moved from the recliner to the couch, at which point I stayed frozen in one spot until we scored the tying touchdown. It's all about the superstitions, I tell you.

I forget exactly what it was that caused me to leave at first. All I know is I saw nothing go right, everything go wrong, and every time the online box score showed me a glimmer of good news, like "first and goal on the 1" I'd turn on the TV just in time to see a loss of three yards on fourth down. (And I could see that play developing the moment Verica got the snap. I swear Mikey is the most predictable play caller ever. Verica hadn't moved two steps before I figured out what he was going to do and what the result would be. Ugh.)

And what did I say? Turnovers! Don't do it! And what did they do? Turnovers. Take away the Verica picks and the game is completely different. Wake only had one scoring drive of longer than 60 yards. Great field position otherwise. One of those interceptions was entirely Will Barker's fault. When you're the tackle, and you have a choice of whether to block the inside or outside guy, on which side is your help? Gah. Way to double-team the end and let the 'backer come flying free. The other first-half one happened when the TV was off, so the TiVo will tell me the story later, after which I will hit the DELETE button.

The defense did not suck as bad as "28-3 at halftime" would indicate, but stepping it up when you're down 25 is too late. The offense set them up to fail, but someone needed to make a play and nobody did. And I'm looking at Glaspy in particular for letting that second touchdown go. Looking up at the ball trying to find it for the interception when the receiver is streaking behind you......that is supposed to happen to freshmen. Then we shake our heads and go "damn freshmen" and at least we know they'll mature and get better. Glaspy is a fifth-year senior. The hell he should be making Football 101 mistakes like that.

What's it all mean, then?

- Tampa. Incredibly enough, we're still in the running and three things need to happen: 1) Win out. 2) Miami loses twice. 3) UNC loses once. #1 is obviously easier said than done, but it's possible: Clemson and VT are both extremely vulnerable. #2 is probably the easiest. I'll be surprised if Miami gets through both Techs unscathed, and they might lose both. They finish up with NC State, though, so it pretty much has to happen in the next two weeks. #3 is the hardest, I think. UNC's last two games are NC State and Duke. If Good Maryland doesn't show up to beat them next week, it'll essentially flush our Tampa trip down the toilet. Ahem.....F- ...Fear....fear th....f....fear the turt.....I can't say it. Go Terps. God, I feel so unclean.

- That's the sunny side. Now for the cloud. It's bigger. Next game is a must win if we even want to go to the 9th-pick game in Washington, let alone the Orange Bowl. I mean, do you really want to have to go into Lane Stadium needing a win to be bowl-eligible? Such is life in the ACC, where your postseason possibilities can range from BCS bowl to no bowl at all with only two games left. I'd like to think the bye week will help, but a fat lot of good a bye week did before Duke. I don't understand why our level of preparation is inversely proportional to the amount of time we're given to prepare.

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