10 Things I Learned 2011 … Miami

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Thursday was a good night for Oday Aboushi , the ACC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week, and the Hoos.

Feel like you are riding a bit of a rollercoaster right now? Welcome to the wonderful world of rebuilding a football program. This week, however, coming off a road win at Miami, we get to see the world from the top of the coaster.

1. A Really Impressive Win. Coming off a dispiriting – everyone seems to agree that is the right descriptor – loss to NC State, dealing with a short week, and going on the road to face a Miami team that was coming off a couple of impressive wins and had been competitive in some losses to very good teams, this game did not set up well in any way, shape, or form for the Hoos.

So much for that.

As impressive as Virginia’s win over Miami last year was, and as impressive as UVa’s recent win over Georgia Tech was, this was the best win of the relatively brief Mike London era. If you ask any college coach what it is like to have to deal with a short week and go on the road, you will get the same answer: “It is a nightmare.” When you start to think about how the week breaks down, after all, you have to remember that the players get less time to heal physically, the coaches get less time to go through their usual preparations, and the whole team loses even more time because of the travel time that has to be built in. The staff does all it can to keep the team as much in its routines as it can, of course, but it is very hard to do anything but rush from A to B when you are facing this kind of challenge.

There is, however, one advantage, and it cannot be overlooked here: if your team has a real competitive spirit, your team will want to get back onto the field as fast as possible after a loss. I can tell you that coming off last Saturday’s loss, that was exactly the feeling among the team starting on Sunday. In fact, I would go so far to say that the team not only adjusted to the short week; it embraced it and, to go a step further, almost was excited about it.

The staff