Home Chris Graham: UVa. football is officially irrelevant

Chris Graham: UVa. football is officially irrelevant


Mike-LondonDuke has now taken five of its last six games against UVa., which is maybe not even arguably the worst program in the ACC now.

And yet Mike London, paid $2.55 million a year to produce what will be three losing seasons in four years after the 2013 debacle comes to an end next month, more than what Virginia Tech pays coach Frank Beamer to compete for ACC championships, coaches on.

He can’t even win games up 22-0 in the second quarter, as was the case on Saturday in what turned into a 35-22 loss to Duke. And it wasn’t that the 22-0 lead was a fluke – after Virginia’s third touchdown, at the 5:49 mark of the second quarter, Duke had not turned the ball over once, and Virginia had racked up a 280-84 advantage in total yards, and Duke had gained just four first downs.

And then … the wheels fell off, literally.

Duke finally took the lead on a play that changed my opinion of defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta forever. Facing fourth-and-one at the UVa. 47, Duke coach David Cutcliffe put wildcat quarterback Brandon Connette in ostensibly to run some sort of option play. That’s what Tenuta figured on, anyway, and he sold out to stop the run, bringing his corners in to pinch down at the line of scrimmage.

The gap left tight end Braxton Deaver all alone in the right flat, and Connette connected with Deaver on what turned into a 47-yard TD pass that took whatever air was left in Scott Stadium at that point.

Virginia drove the ball just outside the red zone on its next possession, and had a 39-yard field-goal attempt to tie the game at the 7:37 mark, and the kick from Alec Vozenilek went through the uprights, but was negated by a false-start penalty that pushed the ball back five yards. The ensuing kick was wide left, apropos for these hapless Cavs.

London can’t get endgame coaching decisions right, as was the case in the 27-26 loss at Maryland in a game that Virginia did everything but win based on the way was played on the field, that’s one thing.

His coaching staff can’t get the basics right with in-game adjustments, obviously. Duke’s first-half touchdown came after Cutcliffe went to a two-minute offense that he continued in the second half, and London and Tenuta never could figure out what to do to stop the Blue Devils after halftime.

If London has a job at the end of the night, much less at the end of the year, or into next year, it’s because Teresa Sullivan, Craig Littlepage and Jon Oliver have given up on fielding a competitive football team in Charlottesville.

A pox on all their houses.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.