Since being named the offensive coordinator before the start of the 2006 season, Virginia fans have had plenty of opinions on Mike Groh. Much criticism has been lobbed his way thanks to the Cavaliers’ offensive rankings; the offense often resides in the bottom 1/4 of the nation’s teams and currently sits 104th in total offense. Saturday probably didn’t change those opinions for the most part.
But I will say this – and I fully understand it has no bearing on evaluating the offense’s production on his watch – the man cares about his job and loves Virginia football.
After calling the two-minute drive that tied the game Saturday, the Hoos’ defense gave the team a chance to get the win in overtime by holding North Carolina to a field goal. Groh dialed up a four-play touchdown drive. It featured a wheel route completion to John Phillips for 19 yards and three Cedric Peerman runs, including the game-winning touchdown from two yards out.
As soon as Peerman scored, Groh stood up in the coaches’ box, raised both fists skyward, and started yelling to celebrate. A fellow coach lifted him up in a bear hug and Groh grabbed the top of the glass and started yelling and celebrating with Hoo fans around the area. When he was finally put down, Groh stood on top of the counter in the box, raised both arms again, looked out at the crowd and press row and continued yelling “woooooo!” in celebration until his face was nearly red.
Opinions aside, if that doesn’t tell you how much Mike Groh wanted to win Saturday and how much he loves Virginia football, nothing will.
More On The Wheel Route
The return of the wheel route on that overtime touchdown drive must have pleased some Virginia fans who haven’t seen the pattern much since the early days in Jason Snelling’s career. The route features a smooth out-and-up arch to earn its name and it worked in overtime because of the design.
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