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Virginia Cavaliers Film Review: Fourth Quarter

NCAA Football: Louisville at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville showed they could make timely plays to hold onto a lead which was a welcome sight. What also stood out in the fourth quarter was the offense’s ability to just pound the ball down UVA’s throat with an 8+ minute drive to close out the game. They made the plays when they needed them and really rallied to make sure they didn’t blow another lead. Hopefully, we can see more of this going forward.

I can watch a defensive lineman “get skinny” forever and I’ve watched this play like 50 times now because Dez Tell splits a double team here about as well as you can. The center ends up just moving on to his next block while the right guard ends up on the ground behind the play. Tell then gets around to help on the play. The defensive line had a great day and plays like this stick out.

Momo Sanogo also had a good game and he was a big factor in UofL shutting down the Cav’s run game. He just fires off the ball and doesn’t even give the receiver a chance to get his hands on him. Also, give me Chandler Jones playing this aggressively nonstop. He stones his blocker and gets in on the tackle.

UVA was aggressive in short yardage situations and UofL did well to get stops repeatedly. On this fourth down play, the defensive line steps up again with Mason Reiger getting around the edge to get a sack. Yasir Abdullah just runs past the left tackle again on this play and forces Armstrong to pull the ball down. Reiger and Monty Montgomery clean it up after that.

I will clip this play every time they run it because it is so beautiful when it works. This is also another play where nearly everyone does their job. A missed tackle up top by a receiver is the only thing that keeps this from being perfect. And again, it takes a player coming from the completely opposite side of the field to make the stop. Hopefully, we continue to see them run this play a few times a game to get speed on the edge.

M.J. Griffin really made some nice plays on Saturday. The interception was great but tackles like this really showcase what he can bring to this defense. He reads the play well but because he’s playing so fast he gets on Armstrong in a flash and then he can run through his legs to make the tackle.

I’ve been watching this defense lunge to make tackles so much this year that my head hurts so it was nice to see Griffin make some of these aggressive tackles in space. You’re going to miss some of these and the play may go for a big gain, but I’ll take this effort on a missed tackle over a guy just whiffing any day.

This play from UVA aims to confuse the coverage to get a guy open. They confused the coverage and got a guy open. This is the type of thing you’d hope to not see with veteran players on the field.

Tre Clark is lined up on the inside receiver on this play while Josh Minkins is on the middle receiver. They need to communicate before the snap here on what the responsibility is. Who is responsible for what. Essentially, are they switching on defense or not? No different than basketball. Once the receivers cross each other it’s just confusion because Clark continues with his man while Minkins switches to the new middle receiver. Hopefully, some time looking at it on film will lead to a correction.

This looks like cover two for Louisville with the corner sitting on the short route and the safety coming over to close on the receiver. However, the linebacker to that side also comes out to play the same receiver as the corner in the slot. Not sure exactly what the call is but they got lucky here as Griffin can’t get to the ball in time and the receiver has to dive to make the catch. This could have been a touchdown on what looked like a possible blown coverage.

I wasn’t going to clip this play because no one actually blocked Yasir Abdullah on the play. But look at the running back. His flailing arms look much funnier because of the white gloves. He looks like a clown doing a bit.

On the play before this one, the refs called the receiver out before he got the first down. I’m pretty sure he didn’t step out and he was actually closer to getting a touchdown than it may have looked. UVA decided to go fast again instead of waiting for a review and the refs may have missed this call as well. Hard to tell because the broadcast didn’t really know what was going on but from what I saw it looked like he made the four-yard line which I think was what he needed.

From a UofL standpoint, they just annihilated the line of scrimmage on this play. The entire defensive front ends up at the five or better and they stuff this run well behind the line. But it takes Josh Minkins working hard and staying in the play to chase down the runner after he spins out of the pile. Little things like this matter.

Third down and short yardage and the Louisville offensive line just washes out the entire defensive line to give Trevion Cooley a lot of room to run. Cooley does the rest as he spins out of a tackle from the free linebacker and then carries a safety for a few extra yards.

This is the type of play that I envisioned with this veteran offensive line coming back and a deep stable of backs. They wore down Virginia and then took it to them late in the game.

Another creative play by Louisville where they set it up with other plays that they had run. UofL had been running inside zone over and over again and then they slipped Duane Martin out into the flat for a big gain.

I love this because it even uses personnel to disguise the play. Martin hasn’t been much more than a blocker for his entire career so the defense isn’t going to key on him. He’s not likely in their scouting report. So, you use him on this play and essentially put the game away with a play into midfield.

This was the play that sealed the game and I just can’t get over the offensive line blowing everyone off the ball and multiple guys being 10+ yards down the field and maintaining their blocks.

This was a nice win for Lousiville because of how they executed. I don’t really care what the score ended up being because the way they played is what stood out. They didn’t allow a negative play and only had a handful of penalties. Even when they were penalized they scored or got a stop on each of those drives. They limited explosive plays. The run defense was suffocating. Now we just need them to play this way all of the time.