10 Things I Learned 2011 … W&M

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Mike London and the Hoos had plenty to celebrate in the season-opening win.

Winning a season opener is a wonderful feeling as all of a sudden, hope becomes reality in “maybe we can do it” kind of way. But before we get ahead of ourselves – way, way ahead of ourselves – let’s focus on a solid win versus a solid team and just appreciate that. Fortunately, there is much to appreciate as “10 Things I Learned” kicks off for 2011.

1. 40-3. When the last game against an opponent ended with a 26-14 score, with UVa on the losing side of that score, you have to enjoy 40-3. Yes, perhaps you would have enjoyed 40-0 just a little bit more … but 40-3 against a very, very good FCS opponent will do. Yes, it will do very nicely.

In fact, a lot of the stats out of the game will do nicely:

  • 26 UVa first downs compared to 10, with 13 of UVa’s first downs coming on rushing attempts and 13 on passes.
  • 240 yards rushing, and almost 500 yards of offense.
  • Only 48 rushing yards allowed.
  • No turnovers.
  • A ridiculous 15 minutes advantage in time of possession, with UVa winning the time of possession battle in all four quarters.
  • Scoring on all five red zone trips.
  • Going 4 for 4 on field goals, with a couple of those being far from gimmes.
  • 6.0 yards per offensive play.
  • Three backs over 50 yards rushing, all averaging 4.7 yards per carry or better.

Sure, there were some statistics that were not as encouraging, such as the eight penalties or the fact that Virginia could only tally a single sack despite relatively consistent pressure in the backfield. But if you are fixated on the negative statistics, you (a) are working hard to find them and (b) you may have to accept the painful fact that you are a glass-half-empty kind of fan.

Still, I do not think statistics told the full story of the game, though they certainly spoke of the domination of the score. For example, I do not think the statistics really show that UVa was able to have a very good defensive effort without really