10 Things I Learned 2010 … FSU

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The Hoos dropped their ACC opener against Florida State.

So far this season, UVa has won the games it was supposed to win and lost the games it was expected to lose. Frankly, there have been no surprises whatsoever, unless you consider the fact that Virginia kept it close against USC to be a surprise. But after this loss, I think there is a sense of surprise at how things went. But perhaps there should not have been.

1. Predictable. All week, I dodged questions about how this game would pan out. All week, I refused to make any predictions to even my closest friends. All week, I hoped beyond hope that we matched up better with the Seminoles than I thought we did. All week, I hoped I was wrong.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t. Just like I was sure last week’s game against VMI was not going to be close, I was equally sure that this week’s game would not be close … only in the other direction.

Frankly, while I liked Florida State’s match-ups against the Hoos just about everywhere with the possible exception of the FSU offensive line against the UVa defensive line, what concerned me most was that the Noles just seem to get ready to play games like this one against the Hoos and I was not sure that this year’s version of the Hoos was ready to face that, particularly now that the new systems being run by the new staff are a little better known to our opponents. Maybe that ultimately translated into the physicality we saw from the Seminole fronts, or the missed tackles and missed opportunities by the Virginia defense in the first half, or FSU’s penchant for taking advantage of the chances afforded to them. But however it was going to translate (and eventually did), I just did not have a good feeling about how things were going to play out.

To me, the most painful stat by far was the third down differential: FSU converted 10 of 16 third downs while the Hoos only converted 3 of 13, with two of UVa’s conversions coming on that arguably meaningless touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter when the game was far out of reach. No matter what else, the fact that the Cavaliers’