Observations from Virginia

J.P. GIGLIOOctober 23, 2011 

N.C. State continues to invent ways to get injured. Receiver Tobais Palmer suffered a concussion in warmups, which is the second time this year a starter has been hurt in pre-game. Palmer missed the game. Senior T.J. Graham wasn't hurt but was benched for the first half for academic reasons.

Actually, the absence of the top two receivers opened the door for redshirt freshman Bryan Underwood, who entered the game with five catches for 76 yards. After a costly first-quarter drop, Underwood hauled in touchdown passes of 33 and 79 yards.

There was a head-scratching play-calling sequence at the end of the first half. Virginia's Mike London elected to attempt a 52-yard field goal despite having fourth-and-4 from State's 35-yard line. Predictably, the kicked missed and State took over with 1:42 left and three timeouts but Tom O'Brien elected to sit on the ball and take a 14-7 lead into halftime. Given how Virginia had played pass defense in the first half (not particularly well), it wouldn't have hurt to take at least one shot down field.

Every college and pro team cooks their attendance count and there's nothing wrong with Virginia announcing 46,030 for the crowd. The real problem is Virginia just picked up the biggest win of Mike London's short career, at home and in dramatic fashion, and seven days later the fan base's response is basically, "blah."

Although given the crowd's treatment of sophomore quarterback Mike Rocco, who was booed with just about every incomplete pass, maybe it was a good thing that so many fans decided to stay home.

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