August 30, 2013

2013 Season Preview Haikus

Back by popular demand, Wahooze is here to provide another year's worth of peaceful poetic predictions:


Playing college ball
When you're twenty-eight years old
Is for creepy dudes

(Hoos 30 Cougars, which is a fitting name for older men preying on the young, 28)


Flashy uniforms
Even flashier offense
Hoos can't keep it close

(Duckies 45, Hoos 13)


No one hazes kids
Quite like our military
Won't help with football

(Hoos 33, Keydets 0)


ACC Newbies
Are pretty decent on D
First Hoos road game? L.

(Panthers 24, Hoos 17)


Decent mid-major
Make or break game for the year
In terms of bowl game

(Hoos 30, Cardinals 28)


ACC last year
Good riddance, you twerp cowards
Should lose every game

(Hoos 23, Turtles 17)


Should take a step back
If we are a decent team
We'll win this easy

(Hoos 28, Blue Devils 20)


Vad Lee is quite good
No more Al Groh to hurt them
To me? Coastal Champs

(Nerds 35, Hoos 24)


Might run the table
More likely pull a "Clemson"
Could overlook us

(Tigers 31, Hoos 17)


Don't play much defense
Will Watford take advantage?
Our press D should help

(Hoos 28, Heels 27)


Very amusing
That we seem to own this team
Might work out for us?

(Canes 31, Hoos 21)


Will this be the year?
Not getting my hopes up yet
Watford could help that

(Hokies 20, Hoos 14)




August 29, 2013

Our First Try at Podcasting


Alright folks, here's our first attempt at recording a podcast. If folks want, we're definitely excited to turn this into a regular thing. Keep in mind we're the farthest thing from professionals, so the technical aspects might be a little rough around the edges. However, this being Wahooze, you can expect some honest criticism, desperate optimism, and attempts at humor.

Enjoy! Leave comments here - hopefully some of what we say sparks some conversation...don't be shy.

WEEKLY WAHNOOZE, Episode 1:


Podcast Powered By Podbean

We'll be archiving our podcasts on another site that we'll link to in the future, but current ones will be hosted on this podbean account (if it works well).


Note from Kendall: We received anonymous feedback (look to your right) to do a podcast less than a week ago.  Now here it is!  We listen to what you tell us, people!  Use that anonymous feedback link!

Also -- My sincerest thanks to Pierce for making this happen, and for dragging me kicking and screaming into the world of podcasts.  This was a blast to do!  Can't wait for the next one!  Exclamation point!

From Old Virginia's Season Preview

Just like any UVA fan worth his salt should, I love the blog From Old Virginia.  I read it religiously.



This week, Brendan has posted his two-part season preview, and I consider it a must-read for all of Wahooze Nation.



Click those links and get reading, chumps.

August 28, 2013

First-Ever Wahooze Podcast!

Just finished recording, Pierce is doing the editing, should be posted tomorrow.

Get excited, Wahooze Nation.

August 27, 2013

Stat Projections!

I finished up the position previews ("Movies I Love") for all of the offensive skill position players, HERE, HERE, and HERE.  With those in place, I thought it might be fun to pump out some stat projections for the players.  Consider this a numerical representation of where I think our production will be coming from, assuming good health for all players.

David Watford
58% completion percentage, 3100 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
PLUS
65 carries, 300 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns
I'm expecting a bit of a scattergun arm with Watford, but the wheels will pay dividends.  He won't be a running QB, per se... but by the end of the season I think his scrambles - along with the scripted read option stuff - will be a big part of the offense.

Greyson Lambert
56% completion percentage, 300 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
Strictly mop-up duty here.  But realistically, he'll play more than this, because realistically Watford will miss some time here and there with dings, scratches, and dents.  That's especially true if D-Wat gets 65 carries.

Kevin Parks
200 carries, 950 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns
PLUS
18 receptions, 150 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
KP is about to embark upon a hellmarch toward the 1K mark.  I think he'll fall just short, as Smoke and Watford take too much of a bite out of the workload.  Say it after me: "KP1K!"

Smoke Mizzell
90 carries, 450 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns
PLUS
42 receptions, 350 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
Hello, 800 yards from scrimmage!  The scary thing is that I think this might even be a conservative estimate for the Smoke Monster.  (Damn right I just gave a nickname to the nickname.  LOST fans, unite!)



Khalek Shepherd
45 carries, 250 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
PLUS
12 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
I'd predict more receptions here if it weren't for Mizzell's presence... and if it weren't for the presence of Shepherd's facemask!  Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!  Or, should I say, dooooooooooooooooink!

Fullbacks in Toto
15 carries, 50 rushing yards, 1 touchdown
PLUS
12 receptions, 100 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Not really sure what to look for here.  I'm hoping Connor Wingo-Reeves ends up winning the fullback job outright, and I hope he gets some looks in the running and passing game, not just as a lead blocker.

NOTE: I think we'll see a few carries by wide receivers on end-arounds and other trick plays, but those are impossible to predict and crazy for me to list here.

Tim Smith
50 receptions, 750 yards, 5 touchdowns
If, IF, if he can stay healthy.

Darius Jennings
45 receptions, 650 yards, 4 touchdowns
He'll need to be more efficient with his production, because a healthy Tim Smith will take some looks away.

Jake McGee
40 receptions, 500 yards, 5 touchdowns
I don't have much faith in the coaching staff deciding to do the right thing and pump balls at McGee every game.  (Yep, I just said "pump balls."  Back off.)  Third on the depth chart, trying to turn him into a blocker... it all stinks.  But in the end, he's just too good to not use, and I think this is a fair expectation for his numbers.



Dominique Terrell
30 receptions, 300 yards, 1 touchdown
Against my better judgement, 30 catches.  Slot work in this offense should be a lucrative endeavor.

E.J. Scott
20 receptions, 200 yards, 2 touchdowns
"Criminally underused" is my bold prediction for EJS this season.

Adrian Gamble
10 receptions, 150 yards, 1 touchdown
More flashes, but not enough consistent PT for much more than flashes to be able to be shown.

Zach Swanson
10 receptions, 100 yards, 1 touchdown
I have no idea what we'll get from Z-Swan this season, so I just kind of slid him into Colter Phillips' and Paul Freedman's vacated production.

Rob Burns
5 receptions, 50 yards, 1 touchdown
There's a buzz around Burns right now, so this might be a gross misprediction.  He could be our secret weapon, effectively QUADRUPLING these numbers I have listed for him.

Miles Gooch
2 receptions, 10 yards, 2 touchdowns
Sheer wishful thinking here.

NOTE: I think Canaan Severin and Kyle Dockins will get on the field, but I'm not predicting any stats for those guys at this time.


I tried to keep the numbers as realistic and reasonable as possible.

So what do you think?  Am I completely out of my depth?  Where do you think I'm really wrong, and where do you think I nailed it?  Post it in the comments, bro.


August 26, 2013

Virginia Football Depth Chart - BYU Game

Guys, I'm working hard on the "Movies I Love" series, and my goal has always been to wrap 'em up before the season started.  But excellence can't be rushed, so I am allowing myself an extension through next week to get them done.  Sorry, but I'm doing my best.

Meanwhile, the depth chart for the BYU game was released this afternoon.

Clickslap HERE to take a look.

Some thoughts:
  • Jake McGee, 3rd string tight end.  Bullshit.  Bull.  Shit.  Bullshit.  He missed time in training camp because he got hurt trying to throw a block.  Jesus Priest, coaching staff.  This is not rocket science.  You don't drive your Maserati off-road.  YOU DON'T DRIVE YOUR MASERATI OFF-ROAD.  He's our best offensive weapon, and we fucked him up by trying to learn him to block.  I understand the appeal of having him be good in all phases, but gift-horsing this supreme weapon is idiotic.  "Oh, you're a fucking badass receiver?  NOT GOOD ENOUGH!  Gain a bunch of weight and become an in-line blocker, too.  Herp a derp."  That extra added weight better not slow McGee down or so help me God.
Why mess with perfection?
  • Connor Wingo-Reeves, 2nd team fullback.  Right on, man.  Right on.  Can't wait to see this kid on the field.  CWR + KP = power running game.
  • Kyle Dockins makes a nice late surge to 2nd team wideout.  I thought he flashed during the Spring Game, so it's good to know that I'm not always wrong.
  • Two true freshmen on the two-deep o-line.  Exciting, weird, and a little bit scary.  Where the fuck you at, Sean Karl and Ryan Doull?  Especially you, Doull.  Help these kids save their redshirts, and let's have a better line in 2017.
  • Damn, Canaan Severin.  You should probably just get a redshirt, my man.  4th string slot receiver, no beuno.
  • Looks like Donte Wilkins is gonna play.  Right on, baby huey.
  • Zack Bradshaw ahead of Mark Hall in the pecking order at Sam?  Not sure what it means, but I won't waste bandwidth trying to decipher it because our coaching staff does some weird shit sometimes.  Maybe Bradshaw's speed won him a role over Hall (who by all accounts had a great offseason)?  Who knows?
  • I like Tim Harris on the two-deep.  Put talent on the field, and let it bubble up.  I bet he's better than at least two of the three guys ahead of him on the depth chart.
  • Ian Frye won the kicking job, it appears.  Yippy skippy.  Brohammer is 6-foot-freaking-6.  Tallest kicker in the nation?
  • Dom Terrell returning punts?  Joy.  Whelp, count on at least one special teams turnover in the season opener... if we're lucky it'll only be one.

Gosh darn it, I'm excited for Saturday!


August 24, 2013

Movies I Love: 2013 Receivers

[rant]

Before we get into this, I want to pause to bitch about something.  Why, WHY, why don't we produce any NFL-caliber slot guys; small, smurf-like receivers with great hands and gamebreaking speed?  I mean, take a look at the past few years, at all of the BCS conference also-rans and D-1AA and D-2 (and even D-3) guys making it into pro football:

  • Randall Cobb (5-foot-10), Kentucky
  • Cecil Shorts (5-11), Mount Union
  • Kealoha Pilares (5-9) Hawaii
  • Dwayne Harris (5-10), ECU
  • Aldrick Robinson (5-9), SMU
  • T.Y. Hilton (5-10), Florida International
  • Chris Givens (5-11), Wake Forest
  • Tavon Austin (5-9), West Virginia
  • Markus Wheaton (5-10), Oregon State
  • Ace Sanders (5-7), Missouri South Carolina
  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

My point is this: I think UVA puts too much stock in size when it comes to wide receiver prospects.  I think Al Groh did it, and I think Mike London is doing it.  YES, we recruited Stefon Diggs (who is just south of 6-feet tall) and Dom Terrell and Darius Jennings each ring in at 5-11, but by and large we only target guys 6-2 and up.  While the size to tower over defensive backs and compete for jump balls can be awesome... what's better is having receivers with actual speed and explosive playmaking potential.  The ability to actually catch the fucking football is also a plus.  Relax the insistence on finding receivers with prototypical size, and just go get guys who'll make plays.  If Kentucky, SMU, and freaking Mount Fucking Union can do it, why can't we?  Anyway, soapboxing over, on to the main event.

[/rant]



For the 2013 receiving corps (and tight ends), the movie I love is...

Seriously, awesome movie.
And you Wes Anderson haters can kiss my grits.


Anthony
In Bottle Rocket, Anthony is the protagonist, the movie's point-of-view main character, and also extremely damaged goods.  You are watching him cope with his problems and issues, while trying to support his friends and find his own way.



[Senior wide receiver] Tim Smith is a similar protagonist, damaged goods trying to fight through an ugly injury history in order to put together a transcendent senior campaign and finally make good on all the promise that made him a 4-star prospect in the 2009 recruiting class.



Smith is fast, and he can catch.  He's experienced, and driven.  He has something to play for this season -- the state of his legacy, and his future pro potential.  It's hard not to pull for him... and it's similarly hard to truly and completely count on him.  He's just been too flimsy and fragile over the course of his career, and as our de facto #1 wideout (I won't say go-to receiver, because that's Jake McGee), at this point Smith has got to be considered more of a question mark than an exclamation point.

But if he stays healthy all season, I think Tim Smith will give us that #1 guy we need.  He's got everything you want in a good wide receiver, minus the hulking size.  If he stays healthy, I predict a good season from him... with at least 50 receptions, 750 yards, and 5 TDs.  Like Anthony, Tim Smith is looking to fight through that damaged goods label in order to finally make good on his potential.

[Much] more Tim Smith:









Dignan
Anthony's self-delusioned, ambitious sidekick is Dignan, the "mastermind" behind the Lawn Wranglers and the series of ill-conceived heists that culminate with the ├╝ber-botched ice factory robbery.  Dignan has a certain genius that he's never really able to saddle and ride, but watching him being repeatedly bucked off his own brain is the real magic of the movie.


[Junior wide receiver] Darius Jennings is our Dignan.  He has genius - gamebreaking speed, surgical cuts in his route-running, slick open field moves, and natural talent oozing out of every pore - but he struggles on the field to pull it all together, mostly due to his inconsistent hands.  If you can't catch the ball, you can't be an impactful receiver.



I have always been enamored with DJ's skillset and abilities, but the drops that plagued him in key moments last season more than undid any of the big plays he was able to put together.  I mean, we went 4-8 last season against a shitty schedule, it's hard to say too many good things about anybody on the team outside of maybe Jake McGee.  But to me, Darius Jennings was especially disappointing, though his stat line of 48-568-5 was solid.  I had higher hopes, and until Jennings meets those expectations, I'll be lukewarm.

The drop against TCU and the drop against UNC (you know which ones I'm talking about) came at key moments in those contests, where a big play from our big-play receiver might have put us in those games.  Those drops hurt.  Those drops hurt bad.  I haven't forgotten them.

However, I will eagerly admit that Jennings still has fantastic potential, and is the most explosive, dynamic receiving option on our roster.  So it won't take me long to come back around to loving the guy.  One 75-yard touchdown reception on play action will have me buying back in, and hard.  And who knows?  With another season of development, maybe he hauls in that sideline grab in Fort Worth and that play action bomb against the Tarholes.

As the dust settles, Dignan's the best character in Bottle Rocket, and DJ is the best receiver at UVA... fully-realized genius or not.





Bob Maplethorpe
Anthony and Dignan's bumbling friend Bob is their getaway driver... but only because he's the only one who has a car.  Bob's family is rich, so he's lived a sheltered life, but he has resources at his disposal.  In the end, Bob just wants to be accepted.


[Junior wide receiver] Dominique Terrell is a lot like Bob Maplethorpe.  I don't want to go down the path that a slot specialist is like an offense's "getaway car" escape route, because that's not how football works anymore.  (Slot receivers are now star receivers, just ask Victor Cruz and Wes Welker.)  Instead, I'll say that Terrell's drops mirror Bob's bumbling, and if he can get his shit together he just might be a high-functioning part of the team.




Okay, look.  I doubt anybody in the world is as down on Terrell as I am.  But the dude had basically a wasted freshman season, catching eight passes for 59 yards.  His sophomore season in 2012 was statistically better, going 38-for-475, but failing to find paydirt.  But also in 2012, Terrell badly failed the eyeball test, displaying butterfingers the likes of which I have never before seen from a UVA receiver.  I acknowledge the Miami game, where he went 9-for-127 (with the Hurricanes completely surrendering the middle of the field), but you have to give me his horrific, terrible, horrible, horrendous, egregious drops.  If Darius Jennings' hands were inconsistent, then Dominique Terrell's hands were... just plain bad.

But all is not lost.  He's still a talented young player.  There's a fair amount of hype surrounding Terrell, after he had a good spring and a good training camp.  He's quick - very quick - and could be a real weapon if he can catch the damn ball.

Personally, I've all but given up on the guy.  I don't think a switch can get flipped and a guy with hands that bad can all of a sudden haul everything in like he should.  My wish is that we see more two-tight sets and that Terrell cedes playing time to E.J. Scott, who CAN and DOES catch the ball.

But Dominique Terrell is a Mike London guy, and he's going to play and play a lot.  So I'm keeping expectations low while allowing hopes to creep higher.  At worst, Terrell has resources at his disposal, whether or not he ever ends up being a fully-functional part of the team.






Futureman
Futureman is Bob's little brother, a winner, a natural talent, handsome, athletic, confident (read: cocky), and the rightful heir to the Maplethorpe family riches.


Pretty simple connection here.  In receiving terms, UVA's Futureman is [sophomore wide receiver] Adrian Gamble.  Gamble has the right WR size (6-2, 185), has speed to burn, is a great leaper, makes tough catches in traffic, and shows flashes of brilliance.  All he lacks is experience, and with the Smith-Jennings-Terrell logjam in front of him, this probably isn't his season to shine.  But he'll be Tim Smith's understudy, and will be heir to that outside receiver starting job the second Smith graduates.



Futureman is a minor character in the movie, just like Gamble will likely be a minor part of the offense this season.  But when he's on screen, he'll sparkle.  He's the future, man.




Mr. Henry
Said simply, Mr. Henry runs shit.  He's James Caan, baby!


The ultimate authority in our passing game this season will be [junior tight end] Jake McGee.  I couldn't care less if he can block, you saw the catches he made last year.  You saw the big plays.  Two of our four wins can be directly attributed to huge catches by McGee.  He's a year older, a year stronger, a year better, and now has coaches who know what the fuck they're doing with a talent like this.



McGee is a new-wave "move" tight end.  (Think Aaron Hernandez, minus the execution-style killing.)  He's athletic and fast, a great "go up and get it" type of guy.  He'll flex out to the slot, or even out wide.  He'll go in motion.  He'll be the focal point of the short and intermediate passing game, and with his plus-plus speed for a tight end, he'll also be asked to slice down some seams in the deep passing game.  (Note: I don't give a shit if he can in-line block, and I don't want to see him getting beat up trying to block for running plays.  Just have him run a route and drag defenders with him, away from where the running plays are headed.  Decoy, baby.)  McGee's our best weapon, and he needs 10+ targets in every game, or frankly we're just not doing it right.

I don't need to belabor this.  There's a reason Jake McGee is square in the center of the 2013 Virginia Football poster.  There's a reason he's on the front of the wallet-size schedule handout.  There's a reason his #83 jersey is being sold in the bookstore.  The reason is that he's our best receiver, and probably our best player on offense.

Mr. Henry runs shit, and so too does Jake McGee.


The Lawn Wranglers
This season's role players:

  • E.J. Scott, junior, wide receiver -- If I had my druthers (I don't), E.J. Scott would be our starting slot receiver (he isn't).  But a repeat of last season's 29-390-3 stat line isn't out of the question, even as the 4th or 5th receiver.  One thing is certain: if/when we need a clutch catch, #19 should be on the field.
  • Zachary Swanson, junior, tight end -- God bless you, Connor Wingo-Reeves.  Even if you redshirt, your presence at fullback allows us to move Swanson back to tight end, where his high-slung 6-foot-6 frame is a much more natural fit.  I actually really like Swanson as a player, and the times I've seen him working at tight end left me pretty impressed.  I think he'll see the field a lot this fall, and I think he'll make some plays.
  • Miles Gooch, junior, wide receiver -- GOOOOOOOOOOCCCCH!  He's tall, and big, and strong, and a great blocker, and a decent red zone receiving option.  None of that adds up to a hill of beans, really, but Goocher is a fine role player for this team.  He is - and should be - a fan favorite.  I bitch when players don't behave in a manner that suggests a team-first mentality (Clifton Richardson, et al), and one look at Gooch's career arc tells you that he eats, lives, and bleeds a team-first mentality.  I'm hoping he gets on the field in a few goal-to-go situations and makes a handful of plays like that sweet-ass touchdown reception against Miami.






"On the run from Johnny Law... ain't no trip to Cleveland."Players ready to play, but stuck deep on the logjammed depth chart:
  • Canaan Severin, sophomore, wide receiver -- He's HUGE (6-2, 225), and I'm excited to see him on the field.  He might stampede his way into some sub packages, but any sort of tangible role is likely just outside of his massive catch radius for this season.
  • Rob Burns, sophomore, tight end -- After seeing him star in the Spring Game, I'm ready for more.  He's a converted defensive lineman, and brings that nastiness and physicality to the tight end position.  He's every bit of 6-foot-7.  He can block.  Plus, it looks like he can catch.  I'm intrigued.
  • Kyle Dockins, redshirt freshman, wide receiver -- Another big wideout, and another guy who I thought looked great in the Spring Game.  He's behind Severin in the pecking order, which means he's currently no better than the 8th wide receiver in 2013.  Wow.
  • Mario Nixon, redshirt freshman, tight end -- He needs to stay healthy, but he's got McGee-level potential as a move tight end.
  • Jamall Brown, redshirt freshman, wide receiver -- He's a fast guy?  I think?


The 75 Year Plan


Freshman who are redshirting (and links to the profiles we wrote for them as 2013 recruits):


That's it and that's all.  Our 2013 receiving corps: Bottle Rocket.





August 23, 2013

Check it out!

I want your [anonymous] feedback.  Specifically, I want to hear your [anonymous] ideas for blog posts you think we should do, questions about anything related to UVA sports that you'd like for us to answer on Wahooze, and I want to hear your no-punches-pulled feedback on the blog.  So I set up an anonymous form you can fill out to get your thoughts to me.



Go crazy, guys.  Fill out the form, early and often.  It'll only take you seconds... and give me months worth of wind behind my sails.



Packlines: 2013-2014 Schedule Released


2013-2014 is shaping up to be one of the best hoops seasons we've had in quite some time. And while the first games are still more than two months away, it's not too early to get pumped for it. The schedule was released yesterday! Here's a quick overview of what we should look forward to this season.

November 8: Home Opener vs. JMU
It'll be nice to open the season with a warmup beat down against the alma mater of two of our loyal readers Leah and Charlie. Don't worry, we'll get beers after the game.

November 12: VCU
Need an early season statement win? This should work. If we aren't already in the Top 25, a win here will ensure it. This will be an interesting clash of styles, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Also as a blog we hate Shaka Smart, so we really want to see him get his lunch money taken by the Hoos.

November 16: Davidson (in Charlotte)
Another sneaky good team to play in the early going. Davidson has fielded a solid squad the past few years, and this should at least give us another win over a tournament team. And it's a nice home game for Anthony Gill and The Big Fundamental.

December 4: Wisconsin
ESPN seems in love with this matchup in the ACC/Big Ten challenge, but to me it's tired and played out. I would like to think after this season we will be a marquee enough name to get a good game in this series, rather than just a gimmick.

December 21: Northern Iowa
This is only intriguing because it marks the return of Paul Jesperson to JPJ, though he is unable to play due to transfer rules.

December 30: at Tennessee
This is our first real road test of the season, minus the Chorpus Christi Challenge thing we are playing in. Tennessee should be a pretty solid squad this year, so this will be a good test before heading into ACC play.

January 13: at Duke
First big-time ACC game of the season. Up to this point we'll have played at FSU, hosted Wake, and been to NC State. This is the Big Monday game and the first matchup since Coach K whined about the JPJ fans being big meanies.

January 20:  UNC
Our second consecutive Big Monday game is a home tilt with the Tarholes. At this point most of their roster should be out of prison and be living large on their inflated grades and wads of cash so they should be at full strength. Should be a great atmosphere and a good test for the boys.

January 28: at Notre Dame
This is our first game against a new ACC foe. This is probably a much bigger deal to me than anyone else who writes for or reads this blog, as I am marrying into a Notre Dame family, but who cares. They're usually good.

March 1: Syracuse
This should be a GREAT game. Matchup of two defensive teams with very different styles. I think we will have the shooting to combat the 2-3, but if nothing else it's a great storyline.

March 9: at Maryland
We are the Twerps' last home ACC game. I don't really care how the seasons are going at this point, I just want to send those pussies to the Big Ten with their noses bloodied.


There are a ton of other great games spread in there as the ACC begins to blossom into the basketball powerhouse that it should be. This is going to be a great season so sit back and enjoy the ride. Here are some quick things to look forward to:

Malcolm Brogdon is back! And most likely seeing some time at the point this year. Another shooter to take some of the focus off Joseph Buckets and free up some room for Tobey and The Big Fundamental to operate on the block

Anthony Gill, Devon Hall, and London Perrantes are here! Three names you will get to know quickly that will help fill out what should be one of the deepest rosters of talent we have ever had. This is good because we will have our inevitable bout with dead legs, injuries, and the TB doghouse.

Mike Tobey and Justin Anderson are going to be amazing. I'm expecting a HUGE jump from these guys. JA started to show it towards the end of last season.

GO HOOS!





August 22, 2013

Thanks, Everyone!

I appreciate the responses to Tuesday's post.  Get ready for five movie posts previewing the football team, coming over the course of the next eight days.  Ambition... I have it!  Finally.

Meanwhile, in case you missed the first two:

Movies I Love: 2013 Quarterbacks


August 20, 2013

Quick question...

Does anybody read this shit anymore?  Post in the comments to let me know.

August 19, 2013

Why I'm Excited About David Watford



I hit on some of this stuff in the Quarterbacks Preview.  But in defibrillating my Wahooze posting swagger, allow me to count the ways and reasons and tell you why - exactly - I'm excited about David Watford as our starting quarterback.

1) He's the best leader on the team.  That's important.  Obviously.

2) He can run.  He will run.  And that adds an x-factor to the offense that we haven't seen since Marques Hagans.  That x-factor is sometimes enough to win games.

3) Watford has a cannon.  His accuracy might be a concern, but nobody should doubt his arm strength or ability to fire the ball deep downfield.

4) He adds pages to the playbook.  Namely, pages titled "Read Option,"  "Bootleg,"  and "Rollout."
5) This sets up a situation where we have a three-year starter at QB.  Hopefully he'll be good in 2013... and GREAT as a senior in 2015.

6) Watford starting is the best "high floor" option for the team this season, in that he already has game experience, has earned this chance to start through hard work and leadership, and probably brings the most "want-to" to the table in terms of seeing Virginia Football succeed.

 7) I like how a mobile QB works with what could be a shaky offensive line.  A player who can scramble away from pass rush pressure is a good thing for an offensive line that might allow pressure to leak through.

8) From my lips to God's ears: Please oh please let this end the fucking disaster that has been our quarterback progression since Biscuit graduated.  Put on your masochist panties and ponder this shit show...  Christian Olsen to Kevin "Crazylegs" McCabe to Jameel Sewell to Peter "Boats and Hoes" Lalich to Marc "Meh" Verica back to Jameel "The Suck" Sewell back to Marc Verica to Mike Rocco to David Watford to Mike Rocco to Phillip Sims to Mike Rocco...  JESUS THE MOOSE!  That's an elephant train of suckitude.  Pink elephants on parade type shit.  Cheese and rice!  Seven years of unbearable assclowning.


When I was a kid, that scene scared the shit out of me.  So does looking back at the last seven years of UVA quarterbacking.  AND I WAS A MARC VERICA FAN!  Anyway, back to David Watford.

9) Let's talk a little bit more about the read option.  Specifically, it's the voguest of the vogue stuff offensive masterminds are cooking up right now.  Click here and get nerdy with me.  As far as I'm concerned, Watford has the best read option potential at QB we've had since Aaron Brooks, in that Watford is both tall and fast, with enough passing chops to keep defenses honest.  Anyway, believe me when you see it against BYU.  It'll be cool.  It'll move the chains.  It'll score points.  It'll put us in the 21st century for the first time since Bill Musgrave was calling plays for us.

10) I don't really have a 10th one, but didn't want to just stop at 9,so I'll say that Watford just feels right.  The right kid at the right time after overcoming the right obstacles and winning the right offseason battle.  I feel good about it.


August 15, 2013

Breaking Down Fall Camp Highlights

If you haven't had the chance to checkout the highlight videos on virginiasportstv.com, do yourself a favor and catch up firsthand on how the team's looking so far in fall camp. Over the course of the videos the two things that have jumped out to me the most are Smoke Mizzell's ability and David Watford's obvious improvement from two years ago. Let's take a closer look at video number 10 from earlier this week and see what else stands out:


  • 0:02 - I've really warmed up to the giant Chris Long sign.
  • 0:16 - Touchdowns are touchdowns, but why does it seem that the vast majority of our wideouts over the years only catch balls after pinning them to their chest or bobbling them a bit? We need more Billy McMullens. 
  • 0:19 - Just recently, I read that the designed QB runs in the offense were there for every QB's disposal. It's not a David Watford playbook specifically, but rather whoever's in could still have a called run. Here we have Greyson Lambert running a read option. (Or, moreso, I fake to Mizzell with a Lambert run that would've happened no matter what the DE was doing...). Lambert looks mobile enough there, to me.
  • 0:28 - #26 is a freshman walk on, but looks like he's got plenty of wiggle. OR MAYBE OUR DEFENSE IS MAKING ANYONE RUNNING THE BALL LOOK GOOD /panic
  • 0:43 - So for roughly 17 years now, we've been hearing whichever of our 17 offensive coordinators say in the preseason: "We're looking to get the ball to our playmakers out in open space."
    Well, outside of the occasional Dom Terrell screen play, I haven't seen much execution of this strategy. Here we have Tim Smith catching the ball in the flat. It's a good sign, in my opinion.
  • 0:48 - Fine throw. Definitely a sign of a strong play by the DB and not a poor play by Lambert.
  • 0:58 - Sign of things to come: Mizzell out in space catching passes. He may even line up in the slot at points this year. If the throw hits him in stride, easy touchdown. Instead, he has to slow up and wait for it. We don't know if he still scores, but we do know that the defenders have a chance to prevent a score, only because of a less-than-stellar throw. 
  • 1:07 - With all the (deserved) talk of Mizzell, we've still got two VERY good backs in Parks and Shepherd.
  • 1:22 - Watford does well stepping up into the pocket here to make a good throw, but does he get sacked if this is a live game? The end (Jake Snyder) clearly beats the linemen (Connor Davis) here. Nice throw, though (with another bobbled TD catch).
  • 1:31 - Smooooke.
  • 1:37 - Poor tackling/effort because it's practice? Or something more indicative of a weakness of the unit? OR freshman walk on Anthony Calloway is simply a good player. All of the above.
Two weeks and two days til BYU, yall.

August 12, 2013

We have a starting quarterback!

Officially, it is David Watford.



Sorry I've been AWOL lately.  Fantasy football draft prep got the best of me, and now I'm on vacation.  But I'll be back - with a vengeance - just prior to the season starting.  I'll finish up the movies and we'll go from there.

But in the meantime... David Watford...  Well, he can run.  And he's a leader.  And he's got a live arm.  So we'll see, I guess.  The raw ingredients are there to cook up a good offense, and naming a clear starter was an important part of the process.

We officially have a mobile quarterback, and if he stays healthy he could be starting this season and the next two after it.  Time to learn all about the read option, Hoofans.



August 10, 2013

Fall Practice: Quick Notes on Others' Notes

The Wahoos started fall practice this week - and I was out of town for the three open practices - so you're getting nothing firsthand from me. But just in case some of our dear readers don't follow the regional sports reporters on the Twitter (I'm @pierceRX by the way), here's what I've taken away from the dozens of reports:

-Watford's going to be the starting QB and could potentially be officially named so as early as Monday (according to Coach's most recent press conference). This is exciting news for a few reasons: We have a legit and openly named starting QB (Hallelujah!). Plus, Watford taking control of the job implies that he's been performing well enough to receive such an appointment. While we wont know much about his running ability (he's really really fast) until live action against football players on other teams, this speaks well of his throwing ability and decision making. I'm a little curious about the coaches using Watford with the 1st team o-line while Lambert gets stuck competing supported by the (not as good) 2nd string o-line, but in Tom O'Brien I trust. 

-Smoke Mizzell is really fast, really shifty, and really good. Kevin Parks will be our starting RB, but fans should expect a whole bunch of Mizzell this year. As Smoke himself has said recently, he wants to have a similar effect as Miami's Duke Johnson did during his frosh year last year. Is it possible? Sure. I'd bet Smoke's numbers/opportunities wont be as high, though, only because Parks and Shepherd are good enough to play plenty (as they should be).

-Donte (no longer Donta') Wilkins should have plenty of impact as a true freshman. Others who should play plenty besides Donte and Smoke: Tyrell Chavis, Tim Harris, and at least one freshman offensive lineman. 

-Everyone seems very high on new offensive coordinator, Steve Fairchild's, offense. More trickeration? Pistol formation? A Wing? We'll see... but the most encouraging report I read mentioned that he designs 3rd down routes that actually reach to the sticks. FEW THINGS WOULD MAKE ME HAPPIER THAN THIS.

-Similarly, everyone's happy so far with the Jon Tenuta show on defense. As has been referenced ad nauseum, the new defensive coordinator favors a high-pressure blitz-happy defense. UVA fans should expect more ruckus on defense, hopefully more turnovers, and if we pray hard enough, no increase in broken plays. The players like playing with the aggressive style and I'm all for it (until it doesn't work).

-Jake McGee put on weight! He's learning to block!

-We have more talent all around on the team than we've seen in quite a while, in my opinion at least, but I wouldn't confuse this with anything resembling much depth - save a few positions (RB being the most notable).

-Kickers have been practicing their kicking. We have a bona fide special teams coach now, so let's hope for improvement in the coverage/return games as well.

THREE WEEKS TIL KICKOFF, Y'ALL.


Go follow @CavsJournal @WhiteysWorld365 @JerryRatcliffe @Wahoos247 @TheUVAFool right now for more goodness.