Scattershooting: UVa coaches aim to help Watford - The Daily Progress: Sports

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Scattershooting: UVa coaches aim to help Watford

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Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:04 pm | Updated: 8:41 am, Fri Sep 6, 2013.

Scattershooting around the ACC, while wondering whether it will be up or down for Virginia offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild this Saturday when No. 2 Oregon comes to town…

UVa coach Mike London said during Wednesday’s ACC teleconference that he, Fairchild and Tom O’Brien (associate head coach/offense) are discussing the possibility of Fairchild calling the Cavaliers’ offense from the sidelines so that he can be there for sophomore quarterback David Watford.

“If David needs a voice in his ear right when he comes off the field for instant feedback, those are the kinds of things we’re looking to do to improve everyone’s game, particularly the guy that touches the ball all the time,” London said.

Fairchild said there are advantages to being both upstairs in the coaches box in the press box and on the field, and that he’s called games from both places in the NFL and in college ball.

“The vantage point is always a little better upstairs, away from the chaotic part of the game (on the sidelines),” Fairchild said. “The advantage downstairs is more player involvement during the game, especially with the quarterback, with David being new. We’re thinking it through and feeling out where we’re at right now.”

Fairchild and O’Brien were upstairs for the win over BYU last Saturday night, as was defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta.

Watford was 18-for-32 for 114 yards, a touchdown and an interception, a fairly low percentage for a modern day passer.

Last Saturday, Watford communicated with Fairchild via a headset from the sidelines.

Rolled by Tide

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said that even though his team was soundly beaten by No. 1 Alabama that he thought the game was good for his program.

“When you play a team that is good in every area as Alabama, you find out exactly where your football team is,” Beamer said during Wednesday’s ACC Coaches teleconference. “Sometimes when you play a lesser opponent, things slide a little bit for a few weeks, then you get down the road against an important conference game, all of a sudden something shows up. We know more about our football team right now than we would if we’d beaten someone 50-0.”

Beamer said that ESPN approached Tech last spring and gave the Hokies a chance to opt out of the Alabama game and play another opponent but Beamer said he wanted to stay with the ‘Bama game. Apparently ESPN had another team in mind as the Crimson Tide’s opponent, but Beamer declined to identify that team or the team ESPN wanted Tech to play.

Terp troubles

As Maryland’s athletic department continues to struggle financially in its final year of competing in the ACC, one wonders how the Terps will pay the ACC a $50 million penalty exit fee if it loses the court case.

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall said that wasn’t his problem when asked Wednesday if he played a role in trying to raise attendance and interest in sponsorships for Terrapin football.

“That’s somebody else’s job, worrying about the financial problems,” Edsall said. “I wasn’t the one that got us into those problems.” (Send queries to former AD Debbie Yow in Raleigh).

Edsall said his job was to put the best football team he can on the field and bang the drum for his program in the community. Well said, not easily done.

Wake revelation

Jim Grobe, the master of redshirting entire classes, played 10 true freshmen in last weekend’s win over Presbyterian. What?

Grobe said there were two reasons behind his atypical decision: one, the Deacs had a sterling recruiting class in his eyes; and two, depth.

“At the end of last season we had at least a handful of players on our football team that could have really been helping us toward the end of the year when we had all those injuries,” Grobe said. “We just became a really bad football team, especially the special teams, because of the numbers.”

So, he’s playing most of those freshmen on special teams and will let them earn more snaps on offense or defense depending on performance.

By the way, Florida State played eight true freshmen last week. Virginia, only two.

Faking it

With the abundance of high tempo offenses around the country, there have been accusations, or at least suspicions that some defenses are faking injuries in order to slow the game down.

Asked about that Wednesday, UNC coach Larry Fedora, who runs a hurry-up offense, wasn’t sure how to answer the question.

“I would question the ethical part of it,” Fedora said if he thought coaches were telling players to fake injuries in order to stop the clock. “That’s a tough one because a guy is trying to put his team in a position to win. He’s trying to give them every advantage, and if they’re getting gassed or they’re getting worn out and he doesn’t have timeouts or doesn’t want to use timeouts, I don’t know what the answer is there.”

Quote of the Week

Virginia’s Mike London on Oregon’s speed:

“Their whole team can run… even the guy that goes to get the tee after the kickoff is really fast.”

Stat of the Week

With his five touchdowns against Georgia last week, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd (a Virginian) upped his career TD responsibility (running/passing) to 94 in only his third year as a starter. He trails only N.C. State’s Philip Rivers (2000-03) with 112.

Some local perspective: UVa’s record for TDR is 71 by the great Shawn Moore who started three seasons (1988-90).

Hurricane brewing

Watch out for Miami. The ‘Canes have had to add 2,000 seats to their stadium for this weekend’s clash with Florida.

Some of those in attendance are recruits, bunches of them.

“It’s a who’s who from what I understand,” Miami coach Al Golden said of the prospects coming in to watch.

Ducks highest since ‘99

No. 2 Oregon is the highest ranked opponent to visit Scott Stadium since 1999 when No. 1 Florida State came to town. The only other team ranked as high as the Ducks that has played in Scott was FSU in ’95, and the Cavaliers won that game in a huge upset that rocked the college football world.

Wasn’t that way in ’99 when FSU won, 35-10. In fact, the Cavs also upset No. 7 Georgia Tech in Scott that season, 45-38, and lost to No. 8 Virginia Tech, 31-7. UVa also upset No. 17 BYU in Provo that same season, 45-40.

Of course, there was one other No. 1 team to play in Scott Stadium, when No. 1 Virginia played there.

Short yardage…

… If Louisville was already in the ACC and Notre Dame was playing its partial schedule this year, ACC-affiliated teams would hold four of the AP’s top 15 spots: 4. Clemson; 8. Louisville; 10. FSU; 14. Notre Dame. In addition, Miami fell only eight points short of a No. 25 ranking. … Louisville, which will officially compete in the ACC next year, has agreed to meet Auburn in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff at the Georgia Dome. … UVa and Florida State have an active streak of 30 straight years of having a player drafted by the NFL. The only longer streak by an ACC school is Miami with 39 consecutive years (also active). … Perhaps even more impressive than rookie QB Jameis Winston’s 25-of-27 completions in his debut against Pitt on Monday night was the fact that not a single ball hit the ground in all 27 attempts for FSU. … Look for Wake Forest to be better offensively this week as senior flanker Michael Campanero rejoins the lineup after battling tight hamstrings and missing the opener. … How bad was Georgia Tech’s 70-0 win over Elon last Saturday? The Elon coach asked officials to keep a running clock in the fourth quarter and Georgia Tech concurred.

The picks

Last week: 10-3. Upset Specials: 0-2. This week: (Friday) Upset Special, Wake Forest 30, Boston College 19. Saturday: North Carolina 33, Middle Tennessee 17; Clemson 40, S.C. State 0; Virginia Tech 45, Western Carolina 0; Maryland 33, Old Dominion 20; Upset Special 2, Miami 27, Florida 24; Duke 30, Memphis 21; Northwestern 28, Syracuse 17; N.C. State 38, Richmond 10; (Future ACC’ers, Louisville 40, Eastern Kentucky 17; Michigan 27, Notre Dame 24); Oregon 44, Virginia 24.

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