Surfing UVa: Pinpointing Problems, Suggesting Solutions

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The Virginia football team’s season ended in a very sour fashion on the infamous blue turf of Boise State University eight days ago. The overtime loss to Fresno State, coupled with those two bitter defeats in November to Miami and Virginia Tech, left many in the Wahoo Nation wondering what could have been. A season that started with so much promise has now ended with many questions to examine in the offseason.

The ire of many fans has been pointed at the coaching staff. Certainly, some of the most trendy areas to attack are the 3-4 defense, the technique of the secondary, Ron Prince’s play-calling and the lack of a downfield passing attack. In this article we will look at those areas, as well as how the personnel and coaches performed. Plus we’ll suggest some improvements that must be made for the team to compete for an ACC title in ’05 and beyond.

Groh is still on the right track

Coach Groh

Despite the missed opportunities that prevented UVa from playing in a BCS game or better bowl, this season placed the Groh era in rare company within the annals of Wahoo football. For only the third time in the school’s 114-year football history, the program put together three consecutive seasons of at least eight wins (’50-’52 under Art Guepe and ’89-’91 under George Welsh). So before getting into what is wrong with the program or the things that need to be addressed, it is important to acknowledge that what Groh and staff have accomplished is indeed a very distinguished and unique feat for UVa football.

Groh also established a different benchmark when he took over. He made it clear that it was his intention to compete for the national championship. For those fans investing in the football program over the past four years and expecting better results, being shipped to Boise (and losing the MPC Computers Bowl) was a bitter pill to swallow.