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The View From Scott: Bourbon Bowl Edition

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ACC newcomer Louisville brought its Bobby Petrino offense to Scott Stadium... and Eli Harold, Max Valles and a host of other Virginia defenders sent them home with a loss.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I ended the article with a musing:

Oh it feels so good to win a football game. Next two goals: Win against FBS competition and win against an ACC opponent. Which will happen first?

Trick question!! The answer was that both would happen at the same time. And we would toss in "win against a ranked opponent" for good measure. Obvi.

While I had a good feeling about the Louisville game (which I initially thought was a stomach bug - hadn't felt good about a football game in a while) I was nowhere near thinking we'd actually win. Or win in a fairly convincing (if heart-attack-inducing) way.

I'm only going to address our defense briefly this week outside of the musings. Our defense is legit. We knew they'd be good. I'm not sure most of us believed we'd be this good. They're not perfect. They make mistakes and the aggressive style of play can get burned on occasion. But they're very good and they're fun to watch.

Last week I said that I thought Matt Johns looked like the more comfortable quarterback. I still feel that way about last week's performance. This week though? Greyson Lambert showed why he was the starter and why he was named a captain.

Our offense is still a work in progress. The offensive line limits us somewhat and the QB situation hasn't helped. But you can start the see the pieces coming together. It's not just that we are winning and scoring some points. Its the little things.

The connection between the QB and the wide receivers is obvious. There were some timing routes this week, including some that appeared to be second-option routes, and they worked. That hasn't happened to us in a while.

Beyond that, how nice is it to see wide receivers really going up and fighting for the ball? Think maybe having the WRs go up against Anthony Harris, Quin Blanding, etc in practice every week has helped there?

Fans are still griping about the play calling (including one rather obnoxious fan behind me who commented on every single first down play. Every. Single. One). But you saw some wrinkles this week that should make you happy. And you saw some of it being set up by what seemed like vanilla play calling earlier in the game/season/decade.

So while the offense has a way to go to be in the same league as the defense, it's at least nice to not feel like they're a huge liability.

As always, some random musings:

  • Speaking of the various parts of a team... our special teams just seems... solid. We're still not getting return yards of our own. But the kicking game has been good. The coverage game has been good. And we finally had someone else muff a punt! If the special teams just play solid the rest of the year, it'll go a long way.
  • I continue to be underwhelmed by our stadium food. Most of the time all I need is a Coke in which to mix my bourbon. Obviously Virginia fails us there. Pepsi. Blech. But on the few times when I do want food... meh. Only so many soggy hot dog buns and pepperoni pizzas with one slice of pepperoni per slice of pizza that I can stand. We're Virginia. We can do better. But let's start with that whole Pepsi thing.
  • I gave Louisville fans some crap because of how a bunch of them acted in the aftermath of the halftime skirmish. But to be fair, they were nice the rest of the time. I was overall quite happy with them and had some good conversations with them other than that 5-10 minute span.

  • Justin Anderson is the perfect person to be included in CavMan videos. He just exudes energy.
  • Pretty cool that the various videos from military folks (like Secretary of the Army John McHugh) were actually customized for Virginia fans. Personally, I think that goes a long way toward maintaining involvement from the fans/public as compared with completely canned videos.
  • I was amused that there was no "I'm Chris Long, and I'm a Wahoo" in the in the video given that Chris Long was, in fact, in the stadium watching the game.
  • Max Valles is listed with four pass breakups in the box score. Given that, I think, all of them were knock downs at the line of scrimmage, that almost sounds like it understates the impact of his play. Those balls had no chance of getting to the intended receiver. Watching the replays made it even more impressive. Great timing, great movement. Just a great job.
  • True freshman Quin Blanding led the team in tackles with nine. He is third on the team in tackles for the season through three games with 25 (Senior LBs Henry Coley (29) and Daquan Romero (28) are the only two ahead of him). That's impressive enough just by the numbers. But its even more impressive watching him play. He continues to show he's the real deal.
  • Read these two stats and smile: "UVa has 13 takeaways this season for 44 points, while the Cavaliers had 21 takeaways for 13 points last season" and "Virginia’s 13 takeaways are its most through the first three games of a season since 13 to start the 2002 campaign"
  • Virginia Tech losing to East Carolina at home the week after beating Ohio State on the road is about the most Virginia Tech thing ever.
  • Boston College. Could you please wait more than 6 hours before stealing our thunder next time? #kthxbye
  • Did I hear CML say that Ian Frye had gotten engaged since last season. Whatever it is his fiance is doing, its working. She should keep doing it.
  • Speaking of Ian Frye (sort of) its often amusing to see what facebook friends one has in common with some of our student athletes. Let's just say that the two I have in common with him are very different types of people.
  • Think we can add "win over a ranked team on the road" to the list of accomplishments this week?