Sunday, November 15, 2009

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.

Offense: C

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.

Defense: B-

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.

Overall: B-

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.


Danny Boy said...

Bill, I disagree on Tranquil's play calling. Shinskie always seems like he needs to build his confidence and gradually play up to those deep routes. However, since he locks onto Gunnel and Larmond, why not start the game off with Gunnel and Larmond running shorter routes (outs, slants, stops, etc.) Once Shinskie starts getting a little antsy (and starts sailing all of his passes) we need to return to those short confidence building routes.

Similarly, early in the 2nd half, when Shinksie was showing his typical road nerves we abandoned Harris. Tranquil needs to seize the reins on his young QB's runaway nerves and find ways for him to find his feet again. Short, confidence building routes, and a RB that you can lean on are the best ways to do that. Why leave a freshman out in the wind to twist?

matthew2 said...

agreed about Spaz, ATL.

It was nice to see that emotion. I know it's not always necessary from a head coach, but it was still nice to see.

I see that our game is at noon on espn2... let's hope that when Clemson takes the field at 330, they have to win to advance.

No Hakeem Nicks this year, thank God.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Vote for Kuechly:

Eddierock said...

I was at the game Saturday. When you watch the game live from the stands, with a broader view of the field, you relize how badly Shinskie: A) locks onto a single receiver b) when pressed throws very ill advised passes. He was picked twice, easily could have been 3 or 4 times. Horrible decisionmaking when hurried. he doesn't seem to be learning...

Erik said...

I am on board saying Tranquil is a MAJOR upgrade over Logan. Logan drove me crazy be refusing to run the ball or adjust his play calling based on what the defense gave him. And to run every play as a "shotgun-QB reads the defensive end-maybe hand off every once in a while" was ineffective and boring as hell. The only time Logan put on a clinic was against NCSU last year, nearly every other game was won by our defense.

No O.C. is gonna run plays that fans like 100% of the time, but more often then not our 2009 failures are our players not executing instead of a bad play call (drops, errant throws, missed blocks, fumbles on the 1 yd line at ND)

Logan talked about surprising defenses with home run balls, but it seems to me like Tranq does this more often and Logan was all talk. That's my opinion, Logan drove me crazy.

Erik said...

Eddierock - you're right and ATL has pointed it out. Even the announcers did a little this week. Shinskie locks on a single WR, and too often misses the checking to the open RB out of the backfield.

They just gotta keep practicing and hope this skill develops more. I'm sure there's a ton to process in your head within 3 seconds, and it can't be easy.

Unknown said...

The crowd wasn't that lifeless...even a half empty Scott Stadium had more energy than a full Alumni. And it was nice not getting harassed by State Police for tailgating.

Agree on the comments on Shinskie. He needs to learn that it's ok to throw the ball away instead of forcing it into double and triple coverage. These are basic freshman mistakes that should have been overcome by now.

chinapaulo said...

What a boring game. When the game appeared to be ending on the measuring of the chains, I said to myself, "This is as anti-climactic as an end to a football game can be." I was proven wrong when the went on to review the spot -- thereby doubling down on the most anti-climactic ending to the most boring game all season.

chinapaulo said...

Hey -- can someone explain the bogus Bowman penalty to me? The terrible announcers didn't bother. Was it for interfering with the catch?

mod34b said...

ESPN360 and the chump announcers -- Ryan Rose and John Gregory -- really made for a bad viewing experience -- and the bad football didn't help matters. I think the announcers are both hoops guys who were conscripted to do some football games.

I am guessing the MD game will be on espn360. Bah.

Erik said...

MD game is 3:30 ESPNU
(I heard from a person, haven't verified with any official source)

mod10aeagle said...

As bad as this game was the ESPN360 performance was worse. The fact that the game ended with that idiot once again mentioning the "second string chain gang" was all too fitting.

Here's a comment from the UVa board about Spaz:
"We would have won if we had just posted Spaz a 21 point lead.
He would have gone prevent, and the rest would have taken care of itself."