During Coach Al Groh’s weekly news conference on Monday, he said there will not be any significant personnel changes for Saturday’s game against No. 16 Texas Christian. The probable depth chart, linked below, arrived In my e-mail moments ago.
It is nearly identical to last week’s depth chart, except that Devin Wallace is now the only backup to Ras-I Dowling listed at cornerback. He shared that spot with Mike Parker last week. Parker is battling a hand injury and missed the William & Mary game. If you’re studying the depth chart, it’s important to note that Virginia seldom utilizes a two-back set, so listing a fullback is somewhat irrelevant. Javaris Brown was the third wide receiver to start for the Cavaliers last week.
The Cavaliers have shifted their attention to TCU, and the importance of the game cannot be overstated. After last weekend’s embarrassment, Virginia needs a good showing to conjure whatever good will is available from its fan base.
The key, of course, is to avoid turnovers. TCU Coach Gary Patterson said this afternoon that he thought Virginia tried too hard, and he saw that as the impetus for some of the mistakes. Perhaps on one or two of the turnovers, that was the case, but Patterson was being polite.
-- One of the fumbles came on a snap by center Jack Shields that did not even reach the quarterback. The snaps out of the shotgun were an issue for the Cavaliers, and Groh admitted as much Monday.
"They had an impact on the game,” Groh said. “They cost us one lost series because it created a second and 20. Could the ball have been caught? Yes. Should the ball have been in the bull's eye? Absolutely. That's the center’s job, put the ball in the bull's eye. It’s only going five yards. You ought to be able to do it. The other ball never really got off the ground. How can that happen? It was as befuddling to me as it is to you. I cannot accept it, but I can at least see your snap is over the quarterbacks head and the ball became airborne, it's hard to understand why the ball didn't become airborne. It's not as if we are under center sometimes and under shotgun other times. We have been in shotgun since March of the 27th. [The ball] never became airborne."
-- One of the fumbles was a Marc Verica pass that simply slipped out of his grasp. Apparently, wide receiver Kris Burd was wide open downfield on the play, too. Verica said he his hand was sweaty and his fingers were not on the laces.
-- Groh admitted he must “exercise patience” as the two systems go in place, but he said there are certain fundamentals required regardless of the systems. I touched on it in this morning’s story, but here is Groh’s full quote, which came in a response to a question about the poor snap:
“Those are the mistakes that change games. And that doesn't have anything to do with the system that you're in. There's a lot of things that I have a reaction to that happened, but I also have a sense of reality to them, too. Two out of the three systems on our team are new -- and that's the first time the players have ever been in a competitive situation with them. I told myself in the beginning that there was a degree of patience that was going to have to be exercised and along with that patience, there is going to have to be on my part positively reinforcement to the players. If everything didn't look the way that I wanted it to look on the first time we did it in practice, the first time that we did it in a game, was to show composure and confidence and belief that it's going to be good, because that's what the players are looking for in leadership. But there are certain things that transcend any system that you're in; being able to snap the ball properly, carrying the ball high and tight so you don't fumble it, catching punts properly. Those things are -- it doesn't make any difference what your system is. You did that in the previous system and we ran hundreds of snaps in the shotgun in previous years.
“So this is something that we have been doing for quite a while. We have caught hundreds of punts in practice, there's a right way and there's a dangerous way. It wasn't whether the player caught the ball, it was how he caught it. He caught it in a very dangerous way such that the odds are almost always that something bad is going to happen. We fumble the ball when it isn't up high and tight and that's something we always emphasize. There’s three plays that were worth a lot of points in the game that didn’t have anything to do with the system. Those are the kind of mistakes that, as I said last night, it takes a lot of good plays -- and it doesn't many bad plays to lose a game. Those are some of the bad plays that lost the game. And then we had the opportunity to make two really good plays on two interceptions and we didn't make them. And we had a chance for a non-offensive touchdown there, which is what the scoreboard is all about and we didn't do it in that particular case. “
- Click here for this week's depth chart.
Posted by: hclark1 | September 8, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse
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