10 Things I Learned Against Duke

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A win is always a good thing. Seeing Deyon Williams back is always good too.

Ah, 37-0. I like that score a lot better. As long as we have the 37, that is. Even if it was Duke. There are many positives to take out of this win, a few negatives lingering, and quite a few questions still unanswered. Still, this week feels a lot better than the last few and I learned some important things this week.

1. A win is good. Sometimes, things are very simple. Sometimes, you just have to put one in the win column. It does not matter if it is at home or on the road. Rain or shine, Florida State or Duke. It does not matter if you have to scrap and claw, or win in a laugher. You just have to notch a win. Period.

If UVa loses this game, things have the potential to come unraveled in a hurry. The coaches had to be very intentional this week about making sure the team’s concentration did not slip and that the team stayed committed to the game plan. Sewell had to go on a crash course so that we could get more of the play book into the game plan. The coaches had to put some wrinkles, subtle or not, into the game plan, given that Duke had an extra week to prepare.

But now, we do not have to worry about a “what if” scenario. We needed a win, we got a win. That’s always good.

2. Why a team is a team. It is very easy to forget that a team is a team. As fans, it is very easy to focus on a team on a unit-by-unit basis. The offense obviously has been under intense scrutiny this season, for example, despite the fact that the defense and special teams have had their critical breakdowns, too.

Regardless, if one unit is struggling, the other units have to step up. Florida State, for example, has overcome a weak offense to win numerous games during the Jeff Bowden era, with the defense or special teams providing the offense with TDs or a short field.

This week, the defense and special teams did exactly what they had to do early

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