10 Things I Learned … Miami

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1. Filmroom Woes. When you win a game, you cannot wait to get to the filmroom early the next week. When you lose a game in blowout fashion, you do not want to be in the filmroom but you know what is coming and it is just a matter of getting through it. But as a player, when you lose a game that you feel you should have won, you dread the filmroom. What you absolutely, positively cannot bear to watch are those three or four – heck, maybe just one! – plays that had it gone the other way, the outcome of the game would have been different.

Welcome to this week for the UVa football team.

The funny thing is that the plays that probably are haunting most fans this week are not the same plays that will get the most, if any, airtime during film sessions. You have to keep in mind the purposes of film study: to learn from your mistakes, build on what you did well, and prepare for the next week. There is not much to learn in team film sessions from the plays that resulted in Marc Verica ‘s or Cedric Peerman ‘s fumbles late in the game, for example, when it comes to the fumbles themselves. Sure, the individuals are likely to take a look back at those plays and see what they may have done wrong with how they protected the ball but for the team, it is likely that they can learn more from the blocking on the play than they can from the fumble itself.

Same with a play like Marc Verica ‘s overthrow of Maurice Covington on 3rd-and-18 in the third quarter. Overall, the execution on the play was clean: good play action, good execution on the line against what was only a three-man rush, plenty of time for Verica to throw, a well conceived set of routes, and a good pattern run by Covington. All that was needed was an on-target pass. A pretty tough pass over the safeties and before the back of the end zone, mind you, but that is what was needed. Verica does not need to see that play 10 times in team film study to know it, nor does anyone else.

On the other hand, the kind of play that is worth looking at several times is the kind on which improvement can be made. A good example from this week is the screen pass. With the