newssunday morning quarterback the beatdown at the u

Sunday Morning Quarterback | The beatdown at The U


MINUS: Can we make it official now?

The Al Groh Era is over. Nine years into the run, Groh can’t field a competitive football team. That was plain and obvious Saturday.

It wasn’t just the score – though 52-17 is, ugh, you know, it’s atrocious. Worse, far worse, are these numbers – 515 yards total offense for Miami, 149 yards total offense for Virginia.

The fact of the matter is, it should have been a lot worse as far as the score, and would have been had Virginia not blocked two punts and Ras-I Dowling not returned an interception into the red zone to set up the 17 UVa. points.

Groh can’t blame George Welsh or anybody else for this. He and he alone is responsible for returning UVa. football to the Dick Bestwick Era.

As I tweeted yesterday, Groh should do the honorable thing and fall on his sabre.


MINUS: Quarterback play, and, well …

Not just talking about Marc Verica here, though he had a God-awful game at Miami (11-for-29, 75 yards, 1 INT).

Jameel Sewell has been just as bad of late, and the UVa. offense overall has sputtered after seeming to get back on track for the four-game stretch starting with the loss at Southern Miss and then continuing through the three-game winning streak (wins over UNC, Maryland and Indiana).

Remember all the hullaballoo over how bad Mike Groh was in his three years as offensive coordinator – how he never cracked the top 100 in the country in total offense in that time frame? Gregg Brandon’s offense is currently 119th out of the 120 teams in I-A in total offense.

(Don’t worry – we’ve got New Mexico State by about 30 yards a game. We’re safe at 119.)

I want to give Brandon, who came to Charlottesville with the reputation of being something of an offensive guru, some slack here given that he’s not playing with his guys, but with Mike Groh’s.

Even so …

Sewell is 99th in the country in passing efficiency. The O-line is 115th in sacks allowed. The running game is 109th.



MINUS: A penalty on replay?

Never seen that before. If you missed it, one, consider yourself lucky that you still weren’t watching this stinkfest into the third quarter, but the play in question involved a Cam Johnson sack of Miami QB Jacory Harris that would have pushed the ‘Canes out of the red zone for a third-and-long play when the score was still 31-17 UM.

As Johnson was tackling Harris, his right hand appeared to engage the back of Harris’ helmet, and the helmet came off as Harris also lost the ball, and Johnson and Harris began to tussle for possession.

The tussle led to a shoving match involving several players from both teams. The officials lost track of where the ball was to be spotted as a result of the melee, and asked the replay booth for help from upstairs to settle the placement.

This is where never seen that before came to play. The replay official decided that Johnson should have been penalized for a personal foul-facemask penalty after watching the play on video ostensibly looking for the spot of the ball.

The call gave Miami an automatic first down at the UVa. 15 and facilitated a UM touchdown.

Have to say again, for emphasis, never seen that one before.


– Column by Chris Graham




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

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