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Tiki's Game Recap: Duke

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Under Mike London, the Hoos have made a habit of losing winnable games. Fans hoped that this year was different. A number of streaks had ended already, the Hoos looked like a real football team again, and Duke looked beatable. But, the Hoos shot themselves in the foot a few too many times, and fell.

There is no excuse for allowing Matt Johns to throw 45 passes against Duke's poor run defense.
There is no excuse for allowing Matt Johns to throw 45 passes against Duke's poor run defense.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

What can I say about this game that hasn't already been said? Whether it is Wiley's recap, or message board posts, or other places, everybody is saying the same thing.

The Hoos, much improved this year, reverted back to previous seasons at the worst possible time. First is a defense that gambles a bit too much and gives up big plays at the wrong times, and an offense that can't get out of its own way. Second is a coaching staff that doesn't seem to understand basic coaching concepts.

The first thing a coach should understand is what his team can do. Everybody knows the Hoos are a running team. We have a very good group of RBs and an OL that is much better at run blocking than pass blocking. Obviously, Duke knows this as well. And yet, those RBs ran for just under 5 yards per carry. You would think, having that level of success would convince Steve Fairchild to keep feeding the RBs. Combined with the fact that Greyson Lambert missed his 3rd straight game, the Hoos should've run the ball all game long.

But they didn't. They ran just 31 times, and passed 45. Of those 45 passes, just 22 were completed. That is a completion percentage of just under 49%. Sure, Matt Johns threw for 325 yards. And there were a number of drops by the WRs, including a few that would've been big plays or even TDs. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, the Hoos completed less than 50% of their passes. And you aren't going to win very many games when half of your plays are incomplete passes.

Those incomplete passes also stop the clock, which isn't what we want. When your defense is better than your offense, you want the clock running. You want your offense to use up as much clock as possible, because that means your defense is on the field less.

Sure, there were problems with execution. The aforementioned dropped passes. The double fumble on the opening drive. A couple of blown coverages. A couple of poor punts. But the bigger point is that, once again, the coaching staff doesn't seem capable of giving the players the best chance to succeed. And that, ultimately, is going to be epitaph on Mike London's UVA career.

I like Mike London. He's a very good man and an outstanding recruiter. But. He. Can. Not. Coach.

Finally, Steve Fairchild needs to be stripped of playcalling duties. Because he sucks at it.

No extra notes this week, mostly because I'm already so late getting this written.