Dispirited performance for UVA in big home loss to North Carolina

virginia footballSaturday’s 35-14 loss to North Carolina wasn’t what others had been for this UVA football team.

The Richmond loss was a blowout at home to a good, but not great FCS team. Oregon was a blowout on the road to a team that hasn’t won since and is on the verge of firing its coach.

UConn was a cluster of errors in the final seconds that handed a winnable game to a not-good foe.

Pitt was a game that Virginia had in control before giving the Panthers momentum with an ill-advised pass leading to a picksix.

Saturday was different in that it was pretty much a foregone conclusion before kickoff that UNC was a better team, and the game played out, uninspiringly, as expected.

The Cavs were listless on offense, lacked energy on defense. The crowd never got into the game, aside from the brief moment in the sun, on the 11-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal from Matt Johns to Evan Butts.

Attendance was just over 40,000, in a stadium with a 61,500 capacity, and standing room that can accommodate up to 63,500.

The fans don’t care. The players care, you know they care, but it would be nice if it showed a little more.

The lack of imagination in the schemes on offense and defense sure makes it look like the coaching staff doesn’t think much of the roster’s chances to produce a win.

Carolina, on its side of the field, schemed, coached and played based on the same foregone conclusion. Aside from one trick play, a wildcat snap that ended up, on a reverse, in the hands of quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who connected with Bug Howard on a 40-yard TD pass in the second quarter, the Heels kept it simple, running the ball well, passing off the run game, and playing a lot of base defense that still was somehow quite effective.

The UNC defense had come in giving up 450.7 yards per game, but looked like the ’85 Bears on Saturday, limiting Virginia to 253 total yards, at a clip of 3.0 yards per play.

Yeah, ugh, right?

Actually, no, ho, hum, is the proper response.

This is just how bad UVA football is now.

I’d say please disperse, there’s nothing to see here, but you’ve already figured that out.

Column by Chris Graham

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