Tale of two teams
One team is happy to be 5-6. The other is clearly not.
It was a tale of two teams going in very different directions who met in Scott Stadium in Charlottesville on Saturday.
"I'm proud of the way our guys fought and executed," Virginia coach Al Groh said after his team knocked off Miami by a 17-7 final count.
"It was really awesome to stand out there and watch the total team effort. It was going to take a real strong effort - offense, defense, special teams collectively - to beat a team like Miami. We fought as hard as a team can fight, and we executed like a big-time team," Groh said.
The win pushed the Cavs to a 5-6 record in 2006 - not a bad place to be in the context of the aftermath of a 28-26 loss to Maryland on Oct. 14 that came after UVa. had built up a 20-0 halftime lead left the program looking up at a 2-5 mark.
Miami was the reverse of that - sitting at 5-2 a month ago before beginning on a losing streak that was added to over the weekend.
"I'm sick of losing. Miami's sick of losing. This football team's sick of losing," UM quarterback Kirby Freeman said after the game.
"You know it's been like this all along. We've been busting our tails in practice. We're doing what we need to be a good football team. Things aren't clicking," Freeman said.
That was obvious on the turf at Scott Stadium - where the UVa. defense limited the once-powerful Hurricanes offense to 263 total yards, 77 of which came on a late touchdown pass from Freeman to wideout Lance Leggett.
The Virginia offense, meanwhile, seemed to be clicking on all cylinders - running for 132 yards and passing for 217 yards as the Cavaliers rang up 21 first downs and 33:30 in time of possession.
"We just got beat. The better team won the game today," said Miami coach Larry Coker, who is clearly on the hottest of hot seats as the '06 season winds down. "We didn't do things to win the game. We didn't tackle well on defense. We didn't do enough things on offense to give ourselves a chance to win. We had a couple of turnovers. That's about it. The best team won the game. They outplayed us."