Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Cavs should tip hats and move on
Oregon linesman Jake Fisher (75) celebrates the Ducks’ win over UVa on Saturday by raising his shiny helmet to Oregon’s fans at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Virginia tight end Zach Swanson will carry at least one positive memory from the day his team met Oregon.
“I liked their helmets,” Swanson said. “They were cool.”
In fairness to Swanson, he wasn’t lost in sartorial appreciation throughout No. 2 Oregon’s 59-10 dismantling of the Cavaliers on Saturday. He talked about a lot of other things after the game, too.
How it’s important to have tough tests early in the season.
How playing in front of big crowds helps get you ready for the atmosphere of conference play.
How UVa did a few good things offensively in the first half.
But the Cavaliers as a whole would be wise to take their cue from Swanson and recognize the differences between themselves and Oregon, both big and small. Appreciate the whirlwind that blew through Charlottesville, from the jaw-dropping speed to the shimmer of their silver headgear. Say a few words of kudos and wish the Ducks well in the Pac-12 and national title chases.
And then forget any of this ever happened.
It’s pointless to assign deep meaning to an outcome like this. UVa fans showed up hoping for one of those magical days where everything goes right for the home team, where headlines trumpet the result from coast to coast, where smartphone cameras rise above the midfield mosh pit.
Instead, they got a game that confirmed what they already knew: that the 2013 Ducks are in an entirely different stratosphere than the 2013 Cavaliers. And that’s OK.
All you had to do was see that fourth quarter interception return, where Oregon’s Dion Mathis slalomed 97 yards like some Tecmo Bowl deity, to realize these Ducks do things that others on your schedule will not.
Actually, you could have seen it much earlier than that. After the Ducks scored their first touchdown, they went for two — and got it easily.
Who does that? Not Virginia, that’s who. Not now. The Ducks averaged 26 yards of offense for every minute they possessed the ball. They averaged 8.8 yards per rush. Eight of their nine scoring drives took less than two minutes to manifest. One took five seconds. Another took eight.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, did what an overmatched team does. They employed a conservative game plan designed to keep the ball out of Oregon’s hands as long as possible. The 28-10 halftime score suggested they were doing a decent job of that.
The 31-0 Oregon ledger after halftime? That was less pleasant.
“They may make mistakes,” UVa quarterback David Watford said of the Ducks. “But they just do it at 100 miles an hour.”
Of all the words spoken after this one, including Mike London expressing his desire to “find out what our identity is going to be,” perhaps nobody summed up things better than junior quarterback DreQuan Hoskey.
“This won’t determine our season,” he said.
For better or worse, he is right. The games that will do that are the Ball States, the Marylands, the Dukes, the BYUs — the team UVa beat in the opener. That one didn’t make national news, but it was a mild upset, and it put UVa in position to be 1-1 after their inevitable humbling by the Ducks.
The Cavs have to get better in a lot of places, but they don’t have to flog themselves over this one. Wave goodbye to the shiny helmets. They won’t see their likes again.
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall