Matt Snyder and the Hoos found a way to get a win.
Just like great baseball pitchers need to learn how to win when they don’t have their best stuff, Mike London’s Cavaliers took a step down that road Saturday in their win over Indiana. Pitchers who are struggling on a particular day are asked to grind it out and put their team in a position to win. Yes, Virginia clearly put itself in a position to lose, but in the end, it did the things necessary to grind out a victory.
One of the biggest takeaways from this game is that this is a developing program and these types of games are part of that developmental process. In the past, some Cavalier teams have lost this type of game more often than they won. This time we witnessed a different outcome – a different attitude. We witnessed toughness and resilience.
There are certainly concerns coming out of this game. One key example is with pocket containment against mobile quarterbacks, an issue that plagued the defense last season and reappeared on Saturday. Coach Mike London says IU quarterback Edward Wright-Baker deserves a lot of the credit for the breakdowns this past week. Wright-Baker finished with 48 yards on 15 carries, but had 52 yards on 12 carries if you take out three UVa sacks.
“He’s a very gifted athlete,” London said of Wright-Baker. “The game before [with Ball State], it’s the same issue with him getting out of the pocket. He’s a guy that you have to be aware of where he is at all times. Sometimes, he steps up and makes a guy miss with the four-man rush you have and all of the sudden he got on the perimeter a few times.”
Whether many of those QB runs were the result of an athletic QB or defensive breakdowns is debatable in light of last season’s woes in that regard. No doubt Wright-Baker is elusive for Indiana (0-2), but it certainly appeared some of his runs resulted from breaks in containment, especially from the defensive backfield.
How did that problem affect the grades for the Hoos (2-0)? Let’s take a look.
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