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UVa’s defensive coaches work on the sidelines.
Some losses are more painful than others, and this loss certainly qualified (particularly if one includes in the discussion how Michael Rocco’s ribs feel this morning). The funny thing for me, however, was that the game was not as hard as many to breakdown, even if it was tough to swallow. Many of the problems on the day were obvious, after all, and other things that were not as obvious were, at the very least, interesting to me.
1. Were We Outcoached? I suppose I might as well get to the question that I have heard asked again and again and again: was UVa outcoached in the Southern Miss game? The answer, in my opinion, is not a simple one … and
here, it will not be a short one.
First off, if you ask Mike London, or Jim Reid, or Bill Lazor, or any Virginia coach whether they were outcoached on Saturday, I am certain they will say yes. After all, in all my years being involved in football, I am not sure I have known more than a handful of coaches who would give any other answer following a loss. In a sense, I suppose that is a true statement, especially if the two teams facing each other were reasonably equal in terms of talent. But that simplistic analysis fails to really account for what happened on the field.
To me, to really answer the question, you have to look first at the opposing play calls to see how often one sideline beat the other sideline on the play call itself. Yes, there certainly were examples of that in the UVa-Southern Miss matchup, the most obvious and most discussed being on the fake punt to start the second quarter (more on that below). But after going through the game film several times, I have to say that I actually think that Virginia had an overall advantage when it came to the battle of the play calls by about a 60/40 split, maybe even 65/35. So if I am just going on that basis, I certainly would not say that the UVa coaches were outcoached in the game …
… but again, that is not the end of the analysis. Beyond...
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