From the Virginia Locker Room: Hope for Virginia — Just Not Today

De'Anthony Thomas leaves a Cavalier flat on his way to six

Andrew Shurtleff

Virginia gave it their best shot against Oregon today but came up short, losing 59-10.  Despite the score, Virginia will be able to take a few positive things into their bye week.  The offense and the defense showed signs of life throughout the whole game but just not enough to keep Oregon from getting the “W” and putting up a massive number of points.

OFFENSE:

“I think we need to find out what our identity is going to be.  Whether or not our quarterback is going to run it more, or a personnel issue.  Whatever it may be, we want to run the ball and find those guys that can move the chains for us.” — Virginia Coach Mike London.

Virginia running back Khalek Shepherd’s 45-yard rushing touchdown marked the longest run of his career.  Maybe that will help Coach London see Shepherd as the answer to the running game and give him more touches when Virginia faces VMI in two weeks.

David Watford in action against Oregon

Andrew Shurtleff

David Watford in action against Oregon

“As an offense, we just have to keep pushing. We knew we were going to be in a dog fight and it wasn’t going to be easy and we just had to keep working.  We didn’t dwell on those drives.  We decided that every time we got the ball we’d try to score.  That was our main focus, to keep pushing the ball down field” — Virginia quarterback David Watford.

Watford made his second career start and had a career bests in completions(29), attempts(41), and yards(161). On a down note, Watford tied his career high with three interceptions. Also on offense, a positive connection formed between quarterback David Watford and tight end Jake McGee. McGee had a career best 8 catches for a team-leading 53 yards.  Coach London can be happy that his quarterback is finding a go-to who produces positive results.

DEFENSE:

“We worked hard to defend the system that they have.  Oregon has a great tight end and receiver.  We had some issues being where we needed to be.  My hat goes off to them.  They are an excellent football team.  We wanted to be aggressive, but that wasn’t good enough today.” — Virginia Coach Mike London.

Oregon’s 59 points are the most allowed by Virginia since Illinois’ 63 in the 1999 Micronpc.com Bowl, and the 6th most allowed by Virginia in school history.

Despite giving up the second most point total in school history, Virginia can take a few positive plays from the game.  The Ducks were 0-2 on 4th down after going 1-3 last week.  One of those 4th down stops came on the 1 yard line and allowed Virginia to keep Oregon off the scoreboard….on that drive.  Virginia’s Brent Urban even had a blocked extra point to give a little life to the special teams unit.

Virginia should be able to take a lot away from this game on defense and help them better prepare for future ACC opponents with mobile quarterbacks.

OVERALL:

Coach Mike London on the sidelines against Oregon

Andrew Shurtleff

Coach Mike London on the sidelines against Oregon

“Obviously very disappointing.  We played an excellent football team.  They got on us early and in every phase. We could not stop them defensively and we struggled with interceptions.  The players in their system execute and do what they are asked to do.  Going into our bye week, we have a lot of things to address.  I am looking forward to moving in a positive direction.” — Virginia Coach Mike London.

Despite the score, Virginia needs to see that there are a few bright spots to build upon for the rest of their season. Virginia must also not let this loss demoralize them and stop them from being competitive in the ACC for the rest of the season.

 

QUICK HITS:

— Virginia was held scoreless in the second half for the first time since 2012 vs. Duke.

— McGee has caught a pass in five straight games.

— Zachary Swanson had a career best four receptions.

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Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler

Jeff Hostetler may not have won a Super Bowl with the Giants ( though his uncle of the same name did). He has been an obsessed college football fan living in Florida ever since the Gators beat FSU in the Sugar Bowl to earn the UF's first national championship. Ever since Jeff has immersed himself in everything possible related to college football. He enjoys watching, writing, playing, and otherwise obsessing over all things football. A graduate of the University of Florida, he brings a perspective to FishDuck free of our extreme green & yellow homerism glasses to look at the current landscape of collegiate athletics.