Second viewing thougths and grade report: Virginia
It wasn't a fun game to watch live and not particularly fun to watch back. Maybe it was the awful direction of the 360 broadcast. Maybe it was the dark picture. Maybe it was the lifeless crowd. But the game lacked energy and I wish our guys had done more to change the mood. Although we weren't crisp, there were a few encouraging signs.
Shinskie wasn't a total disaster, but it wasn't a good road game. He is still locking in and not working his progressions. This first INT was costly but not terrible...he was just a little late on the throw. The second was a pure chuck. He also got lucky that a few others weren't picked. He needs to learn when to run as he had chances to get some cheap yards on scrambles. The good news though is that when he has time he can throw some really nice balls (like Larmond's dropped TD).
The offensive line played very well. They gave Shinskie time for most of the game and opened up holes for Harris. Aside from Lapham's penalty, the right side played really well. Outside of a getting beat once, Castonzo played well. Richman played in the first half, but Cleary played during crunch time. Both looked good. I am encouraged since UVA uses a lot of different looks and the line needs to play well if we plan to beat UNC.
Harris had another strong game. It was pretty routine for him at this point -- found good holes and always seemed to fall forward. McCluskey got involved in the passing game and showed nice hands.
Certainly a mixed day for the WRs. Painful drops from Gunnell, Jarvis and Larmond...all of which could have been big plays. Fortunately the guys bounced back and also made some big plays.
Pantale is doing a good job of finding spots and then adding yards after the catch.
I don't know what to make of the play calling from Tranq. I loved all the play action as it did catch them off guard. I also liked the aggressiveness with the deep balls. I also liked throwing to the flats to Pantale and McCluskey. Yet we still only scored twice (in part becuase of Shinskie's mistakes). Also I felt we got too conservative at the goalline on the second TD. I also didn't like the play calling under 3 minutes. But overall, Tranq had a good plan for UVA...we just didn't execute at key moments.
I know Scafe is far from 100%, but he played and looked good. He wasn't particularly disruptive in their backfield but was making tackles and occupying space. Newman played well. Rossi and Giles didn't make many plays (good or bad). With everyone banged up, I don't know why were are not rotating Dlinemen more. These guys are gassed and it is not like they are all playing so well that we can't give them a rest here or there.
Kuechly was very good and probably had his best game in a couple weeks. He did a good job tracking down guys who were on the other side of the field. McLaughlin was okay but missed a few tackles again. Morrissey was good including the big play to seal the game. Morrissey also looked better in pass coverage. LeGrande also played well.
Wes Davis had a strong game. Rollins made some big plays and also did a good job supporting the run and making tackles. Not much activity near Fletcher or Gause. Bowman had some tackles.
Like the offensive plan, I thought things were good until late. We didn't generate much pass rush but contained Sewell for most of the game. There wasn't a ton of blitzing (although it worked when we did). The only gripe was the prevent on the final drive. We let them move the ball too easily considering the time left in the game.
Special Teams: B
Kickoffs were fine.
Kick returns were uneventful, but I like the LeGrande/Gause combo.
Punts were fine. I thought the Bowman penalty was bull.
Gunnell fair caught most, but still showed some aggressiveness at times.
A win is what is important but I didn't feel great when it ended. As I've already hit hard, we went conservative too early. Why not pass on the final 3rd down? I did like Spaz showing a little more emotion in this game than he has on some other games. I just wish he would show a little more killer instinct.