If you're the bright-side type, here's the nice thing about what happened last night: we avoided the full UVA treatment from this season. The way things go, the only proper UVA course of events for 2012 would've been to set up the Bowl Eligibility Bowl, with the Hoos taking a three-game win streak into Blacksburg, and then lose by 10 with the Hokies returning a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns.
Oh, we'll still lose, probably in the stupidest way possible, but at least it won't matter. (Again the bright side of a shitty situation: when the losing streak is this long, the next one sucks for a day and then it's just the status quo again.) Yes, I'd rather have won obviously, but now there's nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we beat the Hokies next week, woo times 1000. If we lose, oh well, the season ended on Thursday night anyway, and VT is 6-6 anyway so it's not like they're happy either.
This silver-lining stuff is real important, because the basketball team is 1-2 with a loss to a MAAC team and no particular way of knowing when it'll ever have a proper point guard, which is to say it's a long and dreary three months til lacrosse season. Looking ahead to next year's schedule doesn't offer a lot of optimism either. If our own team will be better, that's great, and it should be. The schedule still includes BYU, a road trip to Penn State, and a Ball State team that's not looking too shabby this year and will bring back a very good senior quarterback next season.
Oh well. Let's go bowling in scenic Blacksburg, Virginia.
Further stuff in brief:
-- I'll never criticize going for it on fourth and goal. I hated the playcall. Of course I did. After you've already been stuffed, doing it again is silly, and it shows a lack of familiarity with how good your O-line is as compared to their D-line. Better play call: same exact blocking scheme, but give the ball to your fastest guy and give him one tight end running interference and tell him to run as fast as he can toward the opposite pylon.
-- That playcall isn't why we lost, though. If UNC can drive 97 yards for a touchdown, they can probably get one from whatever short field our special teams would've handed them.
-- People are hella hating on the soft man our secondary was in, but I don't mind it. People always want AGGRESSIVENESS. If the corners - and ohbytheway we were missing one of our better ones - had been in press coverage then people would've been hella hating on our safeties instead, because they would've given up 70-yard touchdown throws. We have one of the better pass defenses in the country because our coaches haven't overloaded the very young safeties with too many reads.
-- Steve Greer gave up a very bad touchdown to Gio Bernard, but it's not because he's slow. It's because he made one of the worst reads of his career. The guy was streaking out of the backfield without the ball; where exactly did Greer think he was going?
-- Every time I think "oh good, the coaches have stopped using Perry Jones as the short-yardage hammer and look what it got us" they show a replay from behind the line and it turns out Kevin Parks was running through a hole the size of an elephant. They still shouldn't use Perry Jones as the short-yardage hammer, though. Our offense will improve next year in that regard simply because the coaches won't be tempted to do that.
-- One reason I hate the QB platoon is that nobody ever tells the announcers about it ahead of time and they're always baffled and then they start questioning Mike London's sanity for pulling the quarterback. I always want to grab them by the tie and go, dude, it's predetermined, now talk about something else. Yes, this is crazy, but not for the reason you keep saying.
-- I would say "Darius Jennings has GOT to catch that ball" but I think he knows that. One of the worst things about writing about and rooting for college football teams is that when that kind of thing happens, it ain't really fair to vent your frustration. Pros, yes, they're paid and they can be cut. For better or for worse, Jennings is our top receiver, we need him, we don't need him thinking he can't catch for shit, and nothing good can come from piling on. But damn, he has GOT to catch that ball.
Let's go over the predictions. First and most importantly, the streak is over: I finally picked a game correctly against the spread, and am now 1-7-3. And the Hoos might be 4-7, but my own record is 5-6. I'd be killing it if I'd jumped off the bloody bandwagon fast enough in October. As for the specific predictions:
-- UVA's backs average about 2.5 yards a carry. They had 3.65, which isn't close enough. We weren't, like, great at running the ball, but it wasn't too bad either. Playing better in other aspects of the game would've let that be good enough to win.
-- Jake McGee has a big game, with a per-catch average of about 15 yards and at least 3 receptions. Three catches for 46 yards is 15.3, and makes this my top prediction of the year.
-- UVA's quarterbacks combine for at least a 300-yard passing game. Total of 205 yards, and Sims managed just 55 of those. Rocco's interception masked an otherwise pretty solid and efficient game from him.
-- Giovani Bernard reverses his downward trend and averages about 5.5 yards a carry. In a very pleasant surprise, the Hoos stuffed Bernard. He wasn't easy to take down, but the best running performance of the day was Parks's, not Bernard's.
-- One of UNC's receivers has a six-catch day, or better. What happened was just about exactly what I had in mind: someone was going to go haywire because Bryn Renner was going to throw the ball effectively and our defense wasn't going to be very successful stopping everyone that UNC put on the line. I didn't really expect sixteen catches for Quinshad Davis, but still.
I'm 22-for-53 on the season now. Next week we can wrap up a dismalish performance all around; we'll see if I've watched enough Virginia Tech Hokie football to know what they'll be up to.