Thursday, September 11, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
It's Virginia week. Meaning it's our first match up with another BCS Conference. Sorry to disappoint, but no--Hofstra is NOT a BCS team. Neither are those pudding pushers from Temple (okay, last Cosby reference, I swear). Anyway, with those games already in the record books, I guess I can be more candid than I would be in the days leading up to playing an opponent. Playing UVa will be the first real test for our program. Temple and Hofstra were not high caliber teams (though Temple is showing that it's one of the better teams in the MAC).
UVa always had an NFL-sized offensive line, and it's no wonder why two guys were drafted off their front five last year. Not to mention tight end Tom Santi who was taken by the Colts. This year their starting left tackle Eugene Monroe is something like number five on Kiper's Big Board. But if you've read this blog you know how I generally feel about those ESPN prognosticators. But he is a native of Plainfield, New Jersey--played high school ball with my boy, Dan Davis.
And regardless of Monroe's five stars coming out of high school and the millions of accolades bestowed upon him, the "eye-in-the-sky" don't lie. Eugene Monroe is legit.
UVa has a storied program and a lot of tradition in football excellence, and this year is no exception. Don't be fooled by the show that USC put on in week one. USC has superior athletic beings, and Pete Carroll has the easiest job in college football.
Ever asked Pete Carroll what his defensive scheme is? At USC they play "thiscat-thatcat" defense. Let me break down this complicated schematic for you---you take the 11 best defensive-minded athletes in the country, put them in white and crimson, and tell them to go cover "This Cat over here and That Cat over there." Real defense is when you take a bunch of mediocre athletes, instill a sense of unquestionable pride and sacrifice, and turn them loose on opposing teams. (Thanks, Todd Orlando and Hank Hughes.) But again, I digress. Back to UVa.
Their starting QB won't travel because he doesn't want to be a distraction, in order to help his team win. So their starter wont travel, so that he can help them win? This sort of logic only found south of the Mason-Dixon, folks.
But really, don't let this country-fried thinking fool you. This team will come to play, and Friday night at the 'Rent it's gonna be a grudge-match slug-fest. The fans will certainly get their money's worth.
So the only thing that might make this Blog worth reading is that I can perhaps offer some perspective on college football otherwise not available. (Well, that, and I am getting graded on this for class--who says the American Education system is failing? C'mon, it came down to this class or advanced water-ballooning.)
Virginia week practice was only slightly different than past weeks; I think Coach Edsall is becoming more aware of the grind that a 15-week college football season can take on his players, and is scripting practice accordingly. I say 15 weeks, because don't let anyone fool you--the "bye week" is a complete myth, or at least in Storrs it is. For that one week it's like training camp has been reopened (click here for my thoughts on that).
All in all, Virginia is a tough opponent with great recruits and great players. Should be a great test to see the direction of our team this season.
Some final thoughts:
I gotta say I absolutely adore the Connecticut Football Fans. You really are some of the best in the country. I'm just begging you, PLEASE, stay 'til the end of the game. We DO notice that on the field (or at least I'm too ADHD not to). You are probably the best part of my experience here in CT. I mean, what do they have to experience in Virginia that's better than in Connecticut?
Virginia Ham, Virginia Coalition, and "Virginia is for Lovers"? Bullcrap. I love Connecticut. We have the Whalers (well, we used to), UConn Football, and fall-foliage tours. Take THAT rednecks!
Please download the following songs: "Rescue Me," by The Alarm; "Mrs. Washington," by Gigolo Aunts; and "The Best You Ever Had," by Hot Rod Circuit. Enjoy.
Prayers to Alex Lamags on a speedy recovery. If you ever wanted to know what it felt like to laugh and have your shoulder pop out, just ask 'Mags, but don't tell him I sent you.
Congrats to Darius Butler on having a beautiful baby girl, "Maya." Consensus on the team is that she is already taller than Larry Taylor and Robert "Reggie" McClain.
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