Monday, November 25, 2013

bad attitude weekend review

Is it wrong that after the Miami game I wished the spread had been 18.5 instead of 20, so that idiots who were stupid enough to bet on UVA lost their money because we couldn't execute a simple extra point?

As if we didn't already have oh about a thousand data points proving what an undisciplined, fecklessly coached team Mike London has foisted upon our school, extra points turned into a penalty-fest this week.  UVA scored three touchdowns and fucked up the extra point on every single one of them - two false starts and a block.  And I don't blame special teams coach Larry Lewis for any of them, although one of the false starts was illegal procedure on the snapper.  So maybe that one.  The first false start was Ross Burbank, and it was Eric Tetlow blown backwards for the block; Burbank is a goddam veteran and should know better.

Then again, six false starts on the day mean there's plenty of that blame to go around.  Here we are, 11 games into the season, and that darn elusive snap count is still an unsolved puzzle.  11 games into the season and the quarterback still slings uncatchable frozen ropes to a target two feet above his receiver's head, and has the decision-making power of a welding robot besides.  If you believe what you read on message boards, and the writer of this particular nugget has much more credibility than the average blabbermouth, the "read-option" we've been running is called in advance from the sidelines.  As in, the hand-or-keep decision.  What has looked like stunningly poor decision-making from Watford is actually Watford executing what he's been told in advance - and he apparently has neither the gumption nor authority to override that when the given decision is so obviously a bad one.  Whatever goes on at football practice these days, I wouldn't call it "coaching."  I believe the preferred nomenclature is "ruining perfectly good football players."

The real shame here is that some really nice individual efforts are being lost in the pit of despair.  Anthony Harris's eight picks are an amazing number, even if one of them should've just been batted down.  Kevin Parks needs 74 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, and even if he doesn't get there he's already had the best season by a UVA running back since that last 1,000 yard season (Alvin Pearman in 2004.)  If he doesn't go 11 yards backwards this week, that is - entirely possible since VT's D-line is a wrecking crew and our O-line is incapable of blocking them.

The season will be at its merciful end in less than a week, in the same sense in which the clock ran out on the Oregon game, and when the team physically walks off the field (after having mentally walked off it two hours ago) to a tiny smattering of boos from the masochists that stayed through that whole mess, we can finally slam the coffin lid shut.  I'll then fire off a sarcastic letter to Craig Littlepage and receive a response along the lines of "we feel your pain and rest assured we blah blah fix it blah blah have higher goals for the program blah blah."  I'd say we could then bury this pathetic season, but that's not quite true - the rotting stench of its corpse will haunt the program for a few years.  Or at least over the summer; I can't picture going into the 2014 season with any optimism as long as Mike London is still making decisions.  All there is to look forward to is about a year and two weeks from now when eight more losses have entered themselves in the ledger and some ex-MAC wunderkind is promising to make it all better.

P.S. - Let me just answer a question from a couple weeks ago, regarding which members of this coaching staff I'd retain for some continuity: NONE OF THEM.  Not even UVA legend Anthony Poindexter, who's such a good safety coach that fourth-year safety Rijo Walker tried to crash the backfield while a Miami receiver ran straight past him to the end zone - on 1st-and-25.  Larry Lewis has markedly improved the special teams, but that wasn't hard given the deplorable job Poindexter did with that unit.  Vincent Brown has probably done a better-than-average job, and the linebackers look good under Tenuta.  But why retain any of the stench of this season?  I'm sure there's a coach or two somewhere that can convince a high-schooler to play here besides Poindexter and Chip West, and then actually teach them to play football too.

This goes for everyone from the head coach on down through the assistants, the S&C crew (which is partially responsible for the fact that our interior O-line gets blown up every other play), and the GAs too.


I made some predictions about this game; let's see if my prognostication skills have recovered from the beating they took the past couple weeks.

-- David Watford has between 29 and 43 completions, giving him his second-most in a game this year. I reserve the right to prorate this out in case of early Greyson Lambert showing.  No need to prorate.  Watford would've had to attempt 72 passes in order to reach the minimum that I expected.

-- Lambert attempts 10+ passes.  He threw 19, and only needed a fraction of them to surpass Watford's miserable yardage output.

-- Dallas Crawford rushes for over 100 yards in Duke Johnson's absence.  Crawford ran for only 55, but this seems like as good a time as any to point out that we managed to lose despite running 91 offensive plays to Miami's 52.  Brent Urban's return made a difference, but that is also what happens when your offense serves up defensive touchdowns like Halloween candy.

-- Ant Harris gets another interception.  Truth.

-- Stephen Morris tops 300 passing yards.  No, but he came close-ish with 214, which isn't that close but it is considering he only had 13 completions.

-- Miami scores at least one touchdown of 65 yards or greater, through the air.  I'm counting the 62-yarder, because I can.
I go to 22-for-55 on the season, which is exactly 40%.  Also 7-4 overall but only 5-5-1 ATS since by some miracle, UVA covered.  I'd like it made known that I predicted Miami's score exactly, though.


Remarkably, there are still high school players who want to join this clownshow, and some of them played football this weekend too.  Let's catch up on those of our recruits still working their way through the high school playoffs:

Upland 30, Santiago 29: Jeffery Farrar intercepted a pass deep in Santiago territory that set up a touchdown and a 16-3 lead that Upland needed all of in the quarterfinal win.

Dacula 28, Peachtree Ridge 21: Jordan Ellis ran for 132 yards but was held off the scoreboard in Peachtree Ridge's season-ending loss.**

Forest Park 27, Varina 18: Donovan Dowling had a few big catches, but Varina's season ends a little earlier than they're accustomed to.

Central Catholic 49, St. Petersburg Catholic 16 (Caanan Brown)
Oscar Smith 41, Grassfield 7 (Andrew Brown)
Woodgrove 49, Eastern View 7 (J.J. Jackson)

The results this week leave four teams alive, mostly in their respective semifinals.  Upland and Woodgrove (the latter in a quarterfinal) will have uphill battles; CCC and Oscar Smith are behemoths that will be expected to continue.  And in junior news, Juan Thornhill's Altavista also remains alive.

**I looked this up, and, disappointingly, this team is pronounced "da-CUE-la", not like Dracula minus the R.  Ur doin it wrong, Dacula.


On a programming note, this is Thanksgiving weekend.  Which means of course that I'm not writing anything on Thursday for you turkeys.  I'm pushing the VT game preview all the way up to tomorrow, so that I can wait for the results of the Tuesday basketball game to write a preview for Friday's one.  It's our big preseason tournament (such as it is) so it's worth a preview.  Not gonna get one for Sunday's game, though.  Wednesday's preview and then see you Monday.


Anonymous said...

"I'm fully expecting a 2-10 season, but if the journey there involves two more pathetic blowouts, I can't promise I won't write a burn-it-down post charged with emotion and not rationality."

Not happy about it, but I was looking forward to this post as the only interesting thing to come out of this game.

BostonHoo said...

There are times when I think the Hoos are just a hair's breadth away from putting it all together, then I see the stupid penalties, overthrown passes, receiver drops, missed assignments, and overarching ineptitude that I despair of anything good ever happening with this team. There is a good bit of talent on this team which, I think, if coached by someone like David Cutcliffe or Jim Grobe could produce a respectable and winning program. So what happens now? I guess we just wait and see if London can fix it next season before they all get let go. And how many games will London have to win? It is not a pleasing prospect.

Anonymous said...

Scott Wachenheim is a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Did you see all the shit VT was talking this week? That had to be calculated. Beamer (or more likely Foster) must be desperate to get them fired up. I think the Hokies are legitimately worried about losing this game. They have a lot more at stake than UVA, and when VT comes out flat, they are awful.

I'm still a hopeless optimist, but I think the Hoos have a shot, especially if Lambert comes in and lights them up. I'd love to see them take down the Hokies, if nothing else to make Thomas eat his words.

Brendan said...

I think its the opposite. There's no way they'd say that stuff to the papers if they felt even the tiniest iota of fear that they'd lose this game.

Anonymous said...

I'd be stunned if the Hoos even gave the Hokies a game. It just feels like this team can't wait for the season to finish. That said ... I think we can probably run on them. The fact is, the line has actually been decent in the run game, and I'm not sure how much blame they deserve in the passing game (this isn't to say they are good ... but poor QB'ing will make the OL look bad). If we can go old-school and get some play action going with Lambert, maybe, maybe Jennings/Smith/McGee sneak through for a big play here and there.

Still ... it feels like this team is counting down the days.

Anonymous said...

You guys have got to have some faith.

The Hoos will need help - in the form of a few Logan Thomas INTs, ideally - but I think this game is winnable.

My ideal scenario: Tech's defense gives up four touchdowns on sustained, Lambert-led drives and UVA wins because VT's backup kicker misses a last-second, go-ahead FG.

Go Hoos!