Greg’s Game Report: Richmond

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UVa’s offensive line helped set the tone in the win.

Headlines

  • Cavaliers win first season opener in five campaigns
  • UVa nets 200+ plus yards passing and rushing for only the fourth time in five+ seasons
  • Keith Payne sets career highs in rushing yards and TDs
  • Physical Hoos win line of scrimmage

First Impressions

Three things really stood out clearly to me Saturday, starting with the raw enthusiasm of the Virginia players. We witnessed a group of kids actually excited about playing the game. I understand the NFL, ‘be the same guy every day’ attitude former Cavalier head coach Al Groh tried to instill in his players. I also understand the ‘not get too high, not get too low’ approach to winning and losing but the fact is, as cliche as it sounds, football has always been a game of emotion and it was wonderful to see it return to the Cavalier sideline. You can go about your business and still show emotion.

Second, the multi-faceted, fast paced, up tempo, efficient spread offense that was supposed to light up the yardage chart and scoreboard in 2009 seems to have materialized in 2010 but in the form of a two-back, pro-set system. Not to berate the previous staff, but for the first time in four seasons, Virginia appeared to have an offensive coordinator that knew what he was doing. Bill Lazor called a solid game with timely play-action passing off a productive running attack while moving the pocket with bootlegs and rollouts to adjust to early Spider corner blitzes. Fluid play calling and sensible series management marked Lazor’s debut and it showed in QB Marc Verica ‘s execution. The Cavalier trigger-man displayed excellent game management to go with a strong pocket presence and above average execution in an offense better tailored for his skill sets.

Finally, this was a good win. Yes, yes it was Richmond and the mountain gets tougher to climb next Saturday in Los Angeles but let’s put the win in perspective.

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