Inside The Game: Miami

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John Phillips

Considering the fact that tight ends lead Virginia in receptions and receiving yards, it wasn’t much of a surprise that the unit got involved at Miami. What was surprising, however, is just how easy most of the tight ends’ production was against the Hurricanes. Time after time, a Cavalier end broke free with no defender in sight and that proved to be a big part of the team’s 48-0 victory.

Coach Al Groh said the staff anticipated that the tight ends could have a big night in the Orange Bowl.

“Obviously to have that many plays set up for them, there were things, some plays, that we thought we could manufacture. So going in to the game, certainly it was the staff’s feeling and probably the anticipation of the tight ends that they would have a major role in the game,” Groh said. When they had the opportunities to do so, they really came through.”

You could say that. The Cavs’ tight ends combined for 10 catches and 154 yards in the game. John Phillips led the way with four receptions for 77 yards, while Tom Santi had four catches for 48 yards. Jonathan Stupar chipped in 29 yards on two catches. All six of the catches by Phillips and Stupar went for first downs, while two of Santi’s grabs did as well.

That’s some pretty effective play-calling, something that Mike Groh has excelled at for two straight years against Miami. In those two wins, he has found a way to keep the Hurricanes off balance. At times, it has looked like Miami was essentially guessing. And guessing wrong.

Groh the elder said the game plan was sound in the 48-0 victory.

“We just wanted to have a good blend, a good mix, and a good balance between going inside and going outside, throwing the ball and running the ball,” Groh said. “A lot of times the calls were as much about balance and mix as they were about situations.”

Win No. 9

The 48-0 blowout in Miami gave UVa its 9th win of the season, a number reached for the first time since 1998