Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hey, At Least We're Bowl Eligible

Small consolation I know, as the Jackets lose 27-17 to UVA, extending our losing streak in Charlottesville to 15 years. I didn't see the game, as it wasn't broadcast in the upstate of SC, so I won't go into major detail. In fact, I'll let you break things down. Here are some of my comments:

- UVA opened strong and finished strong. You cannot spot a team 14 points early. We're not a "come-from-behind" type team. We've only had 2 quarters all season where we actually scored 2 TD's or more.
- Our defense started bad and ended bad (see #1)
- Our offense did what it always does - score less than 20 points against good teams. However, let's be real - UVA's defense is NOT that good, and it was further depleted. We just didn't have a good plan or good execution against what the Cav's were trying to do defensively.
- Turnover margin was even, which means we're now 6-0 when positive and 0-3 when it's not positive
- Penalties, a big missed FG, bad field position, dropped passes, "little things" weren't there tonight.
- Reggie was Reggie, 20/38 (52%), 1 TD, 1 INT. I'm sure there were some really pretty OB throws (sarcasm). And another wonderful job avoiding sacks. Oh yeah, Hagans completed over 70% of his passes, but that's not important.
- Give the team credit for coming back and tying the game 17-all. For awhile there I was having flashbacks to Blacksburg. But the team really bucked up and showed some grit. I admire that for sure.
- What is the deal with our kick-offs? How hard is it to kick the ball at least close to the endzone?

At the end of the day, there are times in a season when a team has a golden opportunity to "turn a corner", to elevate a season to a level it hasn't been in awhile. Today was that day. A 7-2 record going into Miami / UGAg had such potential. But it wasn't meant to be. Now improving on the consistent 7-win mark will require taking down either the Hurricanes or the Dawgs, neither of which sounds real plausible right now.

Congrats to the team on fighting the good fight. That dang Charlottesville is just a bugger for us. UVA is a physical team and it was their day. 24-hour rule is in effect. Let's get ready for a rebound, which is an understatement of monumental proportions. It's going to take more than a "rebound" to score points on the best defense in the nation in Miami. But get ready - still gotta play the games.

Fans, don't give up on a better season yet. Just think for one second - what if we did win 1-of-2 to end the season, then win a bowl? That's 8 wins. What if we lost to Miami, then beat UGAg? That would be pretty dang satisfying if you ask me. There are lots of possibilities, so don't throw in the towel yet. The team certainly won't, and they don't deserve the fans quitting on them. I'm just as frustrated as many of you are, but at the end of the day, this is a great team.