I'm still trying to figure out what happened. I doubt that even the most optimistic Virginia fan thought that yesterday's game was within the realm of possibility. Again, by the numbers, Virginia's offense was one of the very worst in Division I-A before yesterday. Here's what that offense did against IU:
Total offense: 536 yards
Yards per play: 7.1
Yards per rush: 5.1
Jameel Sewell, who was completing 51 percent of his passes before yesterday, completed 67.7 percent yesterday, the second-best percentage of his career. The 308 yards were the second best total of his career, and his 10.3 yards per attempt were his third-best. As for Mikell Simpson, his four touchdowns were by far a career-best. The Hoosier defense sacked Sewell twice, but IU's ability to pressure the quarterback wasn't as might have been hoped considering Virginia's difficulties in that regard.
As for IU's offense, the Hoosiers generated only 272 yards of offense and only 82 yards on the ground. Perhaps the loss of Darius Willis was that big a deal. I suppose we will find out if he is able to play against Illinois next week. Chappell was sacked twice by a previously inept Virginia pass rush and IU turned the ball over twice while forcing none. of IU's 272 yards, 148 were generated on IU's last four drives, meaning that when UVa took a 37-0 lead in the third quarter, IU had generated only 124 offensive yards.
It's tough to avoid overreacting to a game like this. The scoreboard does indeed reset to zeroes next week. Still, as I said last night, this continues a disturbing pattern of blowout losses to unremarkable teams. The caveat, of course, is that it's possible that Virginia has turned the corner. Still, there was nothing in the Cavaliers' performances of 2009 that suggested such a dominant offensive performance was possible. This wasn't a game that got out of hand late. Virginia dominated this game from the beginning.