Greg’s Grades 2021: Notre Dame

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The grades are in.
Virginia defensive lineman Jahmeer Carter closes in on Notre Dame’s quarterback. ~ Photo by Mike Ingalls/

In Virginia’s second game against a top 10 team in the last two seasons (at No.2 Clemson last October was the other), the Cavaliers acquitted themselves OK. No, 28-3 is not close, dropping to 0-4 all-time against Notre Dame is unimpressive, and a second consecutive defeat by 17-plus points at a critical time of the season is not ideal. But considering the loss of arguably one of the top five quarterbacks in college football and replacing him with the first true freshman (Jay Woolfolk) to start a game for UVA since 1977, the final three quarters were fairly competitive.

I don’t like players, coaches, or sports writers with a bias (yours truly) making excuses for their team losing. I am also not fond of looking for silver linings in a loss where there were mitigating circumstances. With that said, readers know the weight put on the quarterback position in college football. The cerebral nature of the position and the physical demands combine to make it one of the more difficult positions to replace mid-season.

A poster noted at the end of the Notre Dame game that Woolfolk lacked pocket presence. My question to that comment was simply: when was the last time they had seen a true freshman quarterback, starting his first career game late in a season against a top 10 team, have pocket presence? Again, not making excuses, just stating fact.

In One More Thing this week, we’ll