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Groh-Brandon Discussions Mimicked Marriage

On Saturday, Virginia will take another step away from the spread offense that was a highly discussed subject entering the season. The changes that started in a 37-34 loss to Southern Mississippi on Sept. 19 will be further along on Saturday against North Carolina. Coach Al Groh said after the Southern Miss game that offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon has experience in a more conventional offense, although he was brought in to run the spread.

Brandon is not available to reporters, per Groh's "one-voice" policy, so Groh is left answering about the conversations between he and Brandon.

"Does your wife make suggestions to you or do you collaborate on those things?" Groh said. "I would say that we all want what's best for the team and we can all recognize that there are certain things that would give us a better chance."

The offensive about-face was dissected in this article last week. Groh said Monday that it's accurate to characterize the changes as a series of small adjustments instead of one major difference. But just one week before the changes were made, Groh insisted Virginia needed to figure out how to better acclimate a system that has been successful elsewhere with players that have individually achieved success before.

"We are very acutely aware of that early-season time frame from where competition shows you so many more things about your team than practice does. And whether it's game plan schemes that the other side thinks of that maybe your coaches didn't think of, they had a different idea, or matchups or that type of thing," Groh said. "So early in the year, that's always a very ongoing thing, what to do more of, what to do less of, what we might change to, and just at that time, I felt that we had a system that had a proven record of success. It's not snake oil. It worked very well before. It's working very well around the country, and we had players who had a proven record of success.

"But at that time, there wasn't a clean mesh. And clearly, more time will provide that. ... And so when we think some things need to be done the very next week to help us the very next week, we are very proactive on those things so, that's kind of what led to all of that.

By Zach Berman  |  September 29, 2009; 10:13 AM ET
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