In the end, this week’s game against Georgia Tech was what it was: a 25-point loss. In an odd way, however, it felt different than that. Oh, I agree, it felt like a loss. But until late, it also felt a lot more competitive a game than the final score indicated. And yet, at the same time, it did not feel at any point during the second half like UVa was going to be able to really get back in the game. Odd, I think, but that gives us plenty to break down this week. Plus, any match-up against GT leads to the kind of game that excites film geeks like me.
Zane Parr played well at defensive end on Saturday.
1. Matching Up. Going into this game, I actually believed that the UVa defense would have some success against the GT offense. The reason? Stopping the triple option is less about athleticism and more about playing assignment football, and if there is anything that Al Groh does well, it is drill his defenders on assignment football. On top of that, I was fairly confident that Al Groh was coming up with a solid defensive plan for how to deal with the triple option.
Several of the moves Groh made going into the game, for example, made a lot of sense to me. For starters, I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved the decision to move Nate Collins back to the interior for this game (more on that later). I also was on board with the decision to get John-Kevin Dolce a lot of time at defensive end: Dolce is a very smart player who may not be as athletic as you want in a defensive end but who is more athletic than a true defensive tackle like Collins, plays with leverage, and is very strong at the point of attack for a defensive end, making him a really a nice option against the triple option offense. Add that to a developing Zane Parr – who had by far the best game of his career on Saturday – and I liked the choice of the front three for this particular opponent running this particular offense. It took some guts for Al Groh to go with this line-up for the defensive line and I...
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