Another week, another loss. I'm a positive guy when it comes to our football team. But three losses in a row for the first time since the end of the 2010 season has me a little... weary.
And when that third loss ends with a personnel miscue the way Saturday's game did, you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little extra weary.
But after taking a couple of days to let the game sit, I've come to realize that it wasn't all bad. It certainly wasn't all good. But it wasn't the "end of the world" kind of thing that I was having nightmares of on Saturday night.
So why do I say that? A couple reasons.
- We scored 38 points on Saturday after scoring just 44 in the previous three weeks combined.
- We had more first downs than La Tech.
- We tallied an insane 625 total yards, by far the most this season.
- We had 145 yards on the ground, a number that has been going up steadily for the last few weeks.
- We had more than twice as many passing yards as the high-octane LT offense.
- We were 2 of 2 on fourth down conversions and 7 of 15 on third down, which isn't great, but definitely better than recent numbers.
- We won the time of possession battle by nearly ten minutes.
- We pulled out some trickeration in various ways, including a beautiful 36 yard touchdown pass from Perry Jones to his former high school teammate Tim Smith.
But then there's the fact that we lost.
And the three interceptions.
And the 16 penalties for 145 yards, including the terrible one at the end of the game that took away the comeback opportunity. And losing to a WAC team (even if it is a really good one that is receiving more votes in the polls than all but two of the ACC schools combined).
I've got my fingers crossed for a win against Duke this weekend. I've also got my toes crossed that I won't have to be thinking like that about a game at Duke for very many more years.
As always, some random musings:
- I really really wish that Dominique Terrell could get a better feel for the game. He's too talented of an athlete to be sitting on the bench. But he's got to start making plays for us. His tipped pass from Rocco that turned into an interception wasn't the easiest of catches. But it's the exact type of play that he's here to be making.
- The elephant in the room is the whole Michael Rocco/Phillip Sims thing. Mike London has already made his call, stating last night that - assuming he is healthy - Sims would start against Duke. He followed that up by giving Sims the snaps with the first team offense in practice. So Sims will have the opportunity to show that all the fans clamoring for him to be the starter the last few weeks were right. For the sake of the whole team, the season and my sanity, I hope he does just that.
- As much as I'm bummed (but still hopeful) about Terrell, I'm pretty stoked about Darius Jennings. He's the type of guy we could really build an offense around for the next two years if some other things on the team stabilize a little bit. He's not perfect - what college athlete is? - but he's got such a big upside.
- Perry Jones throws one of the best looking balls for a non-quarterback that I've ever seen. His toss last year was a good one. The one on Saturday was a great one.
- I'm glad E.J. Scott is wearing #19. Makes wearing my Ras-I Dowling jersey and answering the "Hoos that?" question a lot easier. He's one of our several up and coming young receivers on this team. Now if I could get Adrian Gamble to switch to 91 maybe? Then I'd be set with my jersey selections. Not that very many people ever ask me who 91 is.
- Wikipedia says the nickname of La Tech is the Bulldogs or the Lady Techsters. Seriously? Lady Techsters?
- I actually really liked the retro uniforms.
- Didn't see the personal foul call on Eli Harold live. Didn't like the personal foul call on Eli Harold on replay. It's the kind of call that doesn't get made on fourth down. Ever.
- I'm going to guess that with a little bit more practice together, the 47 yard pass from Sims to Jennings late in the game becomes a touchdown later in the season. Just a hunch.
- Will is going to kill me for doing this (if he even reads my articles), but I have to give the Nationals a shoutout for winning the division.
- I don't think I need to say any more about the penalty that basically ended the comeback for Virginia. Basically everything that can be said has been. I'll just sit here and shake my head as to how we weren't more prepared for that situation. I hope it can be blamed on the youth of the team not an oversight by the coaches...