Monday, September 19, 2011

weekend review

Well, all the excitement over ACC expansion pretty much pre-empted any thoughts I had on the UNC game.  Here's the summary: I don't think it was as bad as it felt at times.  I think I just watched UNC run another end-around for sixteen yards about ten minutes ago, so that wasn't too exciting.  But other than having a few holes exposed in the defense, that game was a few badly executed plays away from being a near-even battle.  In the end the better team executed and UVA did not, but there are a lot of signs of progress.  The easiest one to spot: Last year we lost at home by 34; this year we lost on the road by 11.  I'll try to sneak in a few more observations as I run down the prediction summary.

-- UVA's three top running backs will split the carries about evenly.
We're getting to that point, I think, but a little more slowly than I was thinking.  Not a true prediction since Kevin Parks got almost half the running back carries, but Clifton Richardson is slowly catching up anyway.

-- None will go over 60 yards rushing.

The running game was impressively productive, with the RBs getting almost six yards a carry.  Parks busted the prediction by going for 98.  This bodes very well for the future.

-- The running game will include a lot of plays that are technically passes, like screens and shovel passes.
No shovel passes.  But.  The running backs accounted for 29 actual carries and six receptions, and Lazor also tried out Dominique Terrell and Jeremiah Mathis on screens.  I'm giving myself this one.  Halfheartedly, but I'm doing it.

-- At least three players have four receptions each.

Yes (Kris Burd, Matt Snyder, and Perry Jones), and what's more the spirit of this prediction was basically that Lazor was going to have Rocco spread the ball around a ton, more so than in previous games.  10 players had at least one catch.  This one worked out.

This is where I mention, by the way, that Matt Snyder was immensely disappointing and has been all season now.  The dropsies are getting too much to ignore.  The one that sticks in my gut is the one from David Watford's first-half drive; Watford was putting together a nice one and, on 3rd and 3, hit Snyder with a perfect strike for a first down.  Which Snyder dropped.  Watford then missed a wide-open Terrell badly on fourth down.  I have a hard time faulting Watford for the failed drive because it should never have been fourth down.  When your true freshman quarterback makes a great play and your senior captain lets him down by dropping the ball, that is really disappointing to watch.  Snyder must improve or be passed over by Tim Smith and the wondertwins.

-- The tight ends finally get involved, with at least one having multiple catches.

But....they didn't spread things around enough to make this one work, as Paul Freedman and Mathis only had one reception each.

-- Rocco finally throws a damn touchdown pass.

Yes, although it was sort of a run-game throw, with Max Milien being the target and then doing most of the work to the tune of 41 yards.  This is partly why I gave myself the one about runs that are technically passes.

-- UNC's running backs have rushing statistics similar to last year's game: a roughly even split of carries and about four yards average per carry.

Giovani Bernard went completely apeshit and Ryan Houston was bottled up.  So, not only no but hell no.  I envisioned better but Bernard just killed the Hoos on the edges.

-- Erik Highsmith has a big day working against Demetrious Nicholson.

He didn't.  Nicholson's day was even more up-and-down than the first two games but Highsmith didn't own his face all day like I was afraid of.

-- Bryn Renner has at least as many TD throws as picks.

No picks at all, actually, which was disappointing to say the least.  Renner was as efficient as I thought he'd be.  Yes on this one.

-- At most two catches go to someone other than UNC's big four of Jones, Highsmith, Houston, and Bernard.

Yes on this one too; Houston had no receptions but the other three accounted for 14 of Renner's 16 completions; the other two were catches by Jheranie Boyd.

Five for ten on the predictions, plus I damn near got the score exactly right (28-17 instead of 30-17.)  Season total is 12 for 26, plus 2-1 against the spread and 3-0 straight up.


A small recruiting board update precipitated by a big commitment today: Canaan Severin chose UVA over (ultimately) Penn State and Boston College.  Huge pickup; Severin's a highly-rated talent with the offers to match, of course, but here's the main significance: This is the second time this year Mike London and staff have gone outside the recruiting home base of Virginia and Maryland, gone head-to-head with power programs for a highly touted prospect, and won.  (Greyson Lambert was the first.)  Outside the mid-Atlantic, even; we're used to winning battles in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and the like, but Severin is from New England and Lambert is from nowhere if not the Deep South.  For London to give UVA cachet enough to win battles on the visitor's territory is excellent progress.

Anyway, the recruiting board sees Severin moved from blue to orange, and FB Nathan Staub added to blue.  Nothing major.  Lambert will enroll early, so the class can fit 26 guys; and what do you know, 26 is the number of names currently in orange.  But we're not quite done.  Almost, but not quite; Kevin Green is only still there as a formality and you have to expect a prep year for one or two of these guys.  The door isn't closed yet, but I'd guess there are only maybe five guys, at the very most, that the staff is still recruiting for 2012.


Next part of any good weekend review is the Senior Seasons section, in which we catch up with the verbal commitments of 2012 as they make their way through their last high school seasons.

Victory Christian 26, Florida Air 17: Demeitre Brim returned to action from a broken jaw.  He's Victory's quarterback; Victory is now 1-2.

Franklin 49, Hillsborough 20: Kye Morgan ran for 148 yards and a touchdown in the win to even Franklin's record at 1-1.

Central Bucks South 49, Norristown 9: Matt Johns didn't have to do very much, throwing for just 53 yards in a mismatch.  CB South is 2-1.

Landstown 48, Princess Anne 0: Kyle Dockins had four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Landstown is 3-0.)

Norfolk Christian 28, Nansemond-Suffolk 21: NCS was down 21-0 and scored four unanswered touchdowns to win, the game-winner being caught by Wil Wahee.  Wahee had 122 receiving yards, Mario Nixon had 125, and each caught six passes.  NCS is 2-2.

Bayside 26, Ocean Lakes 21: Anthony Cooper had five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown - a "magnificent over-the-shoulder catch" according to the Virginian-Pilot.  Eli Harold had eight catches for 82 yards and would've had a 94-yard touchdown of his own if the play hadn't been negated by a holding call.  Both teams are now 2-1.

Varina 17, Thomas Dale 10: Maurice Canady ran four times for 17 yards and caught one pass for minus-3.  Varina is 2-0.

Buford 49, Therrell 0 (C.J. Moore; Buford is 5-0.)
St. Joseph 52, Middle Township 0 (Max Valles; St. Joseph is 2-0.)
Malvern Prep 27, Archbishop Carroll (DC) 17 (Michael Mooney; Malvern is 2-1.)
Bethel 20, Hampton 0 (Jamall Brown; Hampton is 2-1.)
First Colonial 27, Green Run 20 (Mark Hall; Green Run is 1-2.)
Hermitage 37, Glen Allen 7 (Andre Miles-Redmond; Hermitage is 2-0.)

Canaan Severin committed just in time to get in on this action, except that his season doesn't actually start til next week.

Another note: Some of these papers that I get this news from only go to press like once or twice a week, and not on Monday, which means I see a few results a week late.  Sean Karl's ESM squad won their opener in a blowout last weekend, and Greyson Lambert also won.  The latter had a bye this weekend; the former, I have no idea what happened.  Might have to create a separate week-old category.  Lambert's stats last weekend were impressive: 12 of 16 for 249 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-12 win.

Well, now I bet you're just dying to hear about what the ACC's newcomers will bring to the league in its various sports.  And you will.  Tomorrow.  Teven Jones was slated for tomorrow but he is now bumped to Wednesday.  I leave you with this: the inevitable discussion between the two dying football conferences about a merger to potentially save their BCS slot.  Hmmm: a football conference with the following teams:

Kansas State
Iowa State
South Florida
West Virginia

Except not all of them; either Missouri or WVU is probably headed to the SEC and I think eventually UConn and Rutgers are ACC-bound.  So lop off the bottom three in your mind.

It would suck for Louisville, Cincy, and USF, but I still think the Big 12's best course of action is to seek a merger with the MWC instead.  A Big East/Big 12 merger is geographically bizarre and looks more like a holding pen for future Big Ten raids than an actual conference.


Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll cut to the chase.

FSU people don't seem enthused about the add ons. Neither is Clemson wing either.

We all know they are gonna jump for the SEC. How long do you think it will take?

What's more doesn't make the ACC SOOO much more weak?

Brendan said...

They're not going anywhere. Even if they wanted to go to the SEC the SEC would block it. UF and USC don't want their instate rivals onboard.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think readers of this blog will agree: it sucks to have your in-state rivals in the same conference.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Brendan.

I read the Mr. SEC blog which the one of the few logical blogs on this and they have said.

"Show me where the SEC schools said we won't take neighbors"

They think it's silly if they would give up more money.

Anonymous said...

I posted this the other day, but still don't think anything is going to happen this year. I expect the movement for 16 team superconferences to pick up again next year. With word that the Pac-12 is staying put for now, that leaves no where for Texas/Oklahoma to go for now, and their movement was going to be the next domino in this process. If they don't move, even if a Big East school leaves, I don't think that will be enough to push anything one way or another. And I'm not as confident for WVU fans that the SEC really wants them that bad.