You were wrong... you were right. ~ Five for Fighting, "Easy Tonight"I'll admit that I was wrong, but it was because I was right. This is going to be a much more delightful version of the good, the bad, and the ugly than last week's version. Overall, Miami came in with a chip on their shoulder, and we knocked them out, just like in 2003. I would say that ESPN would regret going to Penn State, but I guess they knew something we didn't (Penn State was over-overrated, whereas Iowa was merely overrated).
Most of the stories already are focusing on things like: Miami is too young and let the ranking go to their head, Miami will rebound and is still confident, and Miami this/Miami that. Well, I'm here to tell you it's time to pay attention to the Hokies, but you already knew that.
- 2003 Miami: Marcus Vick went 2-4 for 44 yards 1 TD, ran 6 for 23, Kevin Jones ran 26 times for 124 with 1 TD
- 2009 Miami: Tyrod Taylor went 4-9 for 98 yards 1 TD, ran 10 for 75, Ryan Williams ran 34 times for 150 with 2 TD
The moral of the story is that Stinespring is a good coordinator when he doesn't try to do anything fancy. As much as I hate the Big Ten, three yards and a cloud of dust should be our offense: we have both the offense and defense to do it. With that, I give Stiney a solid B+ (with a mental lapse for about half of the third quarter keeping him from an A). Eh, what the hell, I'll give him an A-.
- Bud Foster. Bud Foster. Bud Foster. This win starts and ends with the defense. The defense forced the first score. The defense stifled, stunted, and confused the hell out of young Jacory Harris. We stopped their running game, and while we got lucky with a few drops, it was okay to overplay the run on such a rainy day.
- Bud Foster. I have to say some more. It almost seems like the first three games were a trap that he planted to get Miami to fall back on its heels for this game. He used Barquell Rivers and Cody Grimm to close that seam that I've talked about in the past (except once when it was exploited during the Miami TD drive). He zone blitzed, he stunted, he forced Jacory Harris into bad throws, he played soft zones, and he played anything between a cover 1 through 6. In one week, he was able to turn around the defense completely. Carmichael's interception of Harris was the epitome of how much better Bud Foster was than the Miami offense.
- Cody Grimm. That kid can play. I'm going to sound like a pompous football announcer here, but that kid really has "football sense." He knows where to be, and he knows when he needs to shoot a gap on the blitz, he knows when he needs to back off and stop the screen instead of blitzing, and he is above average in pass coverage.
- Barquell Rivers. He can cover, he can play the run, and he stays at home instead of falling for play action or any other trickeration.
- Tyrod has remembered how to make plays with his feet. Tyrod is evolving as a passer, and while he's slow through his progression, he's able to create time with his feet and to figure out who's open. That being said, when he tucks the ball and goes is where our offense is made. Between the contributions from Tyrod's feet and Ryan Williams' feet (and, surprisingly, Josh Oglesby's feet), we can eventually build a passing game. While we can set up the play action eventually, we don't need it. The aforementioned three players each had a run of longer than 20 yards, and that's what we need. Why try to pass long when you can run long?
- Frank Beamer has decided to wake up and remember to coach the special teams. The first two (real) games, Dyrell Roberts made some big special teams plays, as did Jayron Hosley, but we didn't have the kick block that we need. Come to think of it, I can't even remember the last time we blocked a punt against a "real" opponent.
- Ryan Williams. He has had 100+ yards or 2 TDs in each game this season. Even if you drop the Marshall game, he's averaging 4.8 yards per carry. I don't need to remind you, but I will: he averaged 4.8 yards per carry against Alabama, Nebraska, and Miami. If you include Marshall, he's averaging 5.8 yards a carry. He's had at least one run of 30+ yards in each game he's played in. And, to top it off, he made a great catch that saved Tyrod from trouble. The kid's way better than a redshirt freshman should be.
- Jason Worilds. It's amazing what a disruptor he can be with two good arms and while not being
- Bryan Stinespring. He did what he needed to do, he called a smart game, and he used the strengths of his players. There's not much more to be said. If he does this every week, and he stops trying to get cute like he did for the first half of the third quarter, I will stop calling for his head. But until I'm convinced that this wasn't a perfect storm of Beamerball, Fosterfense, Ryan Williams, and a single breakdown in coverage that led to Jarrett Boykin being way open, I'm still hesitant on Stiney.
- ESPN/ABC are trying to be hip and play Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, and O.A.R., among other "college" bands, during intros from and outros to commercials. While I would like to inform them that DMB is so 8-10 years ago, and Pearl Jam is so 10-15 years ago, those two are my favorite and third favorite bands respectively, so I'm happy with the decision, even if some respected AP Poll voters aren't as happy with the decision. Both DMB and Pearl Jam just put out excellent new albums, and they're pushing them hard on ESPN, though they still go with some good classics (e.g. Ants Marching) at times.
- The offense in the beginning of the third quarter was a direct result of Stiney trying to be cute and changing up what worked. (See, e.g. Orange Bowl, 2008.) Thankfully, he quickly disabused himself of that notion and went back to "let either Tyrod or Ryan run the ball."
- Miami's one score was set up by Barquell Rivers being one step behind on the weak seam. At least this time, the receiver wasn't over top of the safeties, but it still was a breakdown in coverage.
- Our pass defense still underwhelms me. Multiple drops kept the game from being closer than it was, and while our defense came out roaring, the pass defense came out of halftime lazy. What's bad is that, when you're up three scores, you need to be keying in on the pass, as that's the only way the other team is going to get back into the game. I don't want to say it's bad coaching, but the entire secondary didn't play smart when Miami was basically in "gotta pass right now" mode.
- Our players seem to muff a lot of punts. Jayron Hosley needs to get under the ball, especially when he calls for a fair catch.
- Barquell Rivers is better than Kam Chancellor in pass coverage.
- David Wilson's first carry was in the fourth quarter. I know that Ryan Williams can be an every down back, but he doesn't need to be. Wilson is lightning to Williams' thunder, and we can use both. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more two halfback sets where we can either swing Wilson outside for a stretch or toss, or we can shoot Williams up the middle...
- Like the 2003 Miami game (dropped fake FG among other things), there were a few bounces of the ball that could have really hurt us, including: two muffed punts that we thankfully fell on, the bad snap on the punt that ended up not hurting us, and biggest multiple drops by Jimmy Graham when he had our pass defense beat.
- Sadly, Dyrell Roberts only touched the ball twice on offense (both end arounds), and didn't get to return a kick.
This was a good day, and all we need to do is avoid a letdown at Duke next week. It'll be a good day for us to get all our RBs touches, and if Stiney really wants, he can even get cute and play with different offenses, you know, since it's Duke and all. (Yes, I remember last year, even though I'm trying to forget. And as much as I hate to say it, that game was not completely Stiney's fault: Tyrod had two picks and a fumble, Sean Glennon threw a pick, and Darren Evans fumbled. However, the string of subpar drives in the 3d and 4th quarters - that's all you, Stiney.)
This is a game to build on, let's see if you can, Stiney...
This link was cross-posted at Adjusting the Cup.
My general college-football week in review is here.