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Elliott Will Not Sacrifice His Core Culture When Building Foundation At University Of Virginia - Jerry Ratcliffe

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Jerry Ratcliffe

Tony Elliot (Photo:

I’ve seen enough of Tony Elliott. His football his team continued to repeat bad habits, silly penalties, 15-yard personals he fouled, trash he talked, and was whistled for pushing Duke players after the play.

Not only was the whistle blown, but the Virginia coach blew the top after a series of mounting mistakes in Saturday night’s 38-17 loss at Duke. called and dropped them off.

“I was a little embarrassed by my reaction to some things during the game just because I lost my cool a little bit,” Elliott said this week. “I apologize to the staff and the players.”

Perhaps that was the frustration of the season. It was his first losing streak since his first year as an assistant coach at Clemson. Elliott mentioned building a culture here in the long run, not actually fighting, not taking stupid penalties in games, core values ​​he doesn’t sacrifice to win games.

“There’s a difference between having a great team and building a program,” says Elliott. “Good teams, they may be good for a year. Good programs sustain success over the long term.”

Elliott compared indoctrinating one’s philosophies, methods, and systems with teaching an old dog new tricks. So far the Old Dogs have been slow to catch up, resulting in a desperate Louisville (2-3) coming into town for a homecoming at noon Saturday, resulting in a 0-2 2-3 record in the ACC (ACC network).

A large portion of the fanbase now sees a difficult start as a mess. With the school’s announced crowd of over 40,000, support was lukewarm, but much less.

Alumni cannot understand how a team that has been bowl-qualified five years in a row and boasted one of the nation’s leading returning passers and receiving teams can be so inept offensively.

Consider last year’s UVA offense finished 3rd nationally in total offense (515.8 yards per game) and 21st in scoring offense (34.6 points per game) among 131 FBS programs. The Cavaliers are currently 99th in all-out offense (364.4) and 118th in scoring (18.0 points per game).

Armstrong’s numbers are also quite off. He ranks 121st in the nation in passing efficiency and 73rd in passing yards, in stark contrast to last season.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ve heard Elliot and offensive coordinator Des Kitchings talk about changing offensive philosophies. This is a completely different approach from former coordinator Robert Anae. Elliot’s philosophy is based on the rhythm pass game.

Anae’s “air raid” principle was based on the quarterback reading the defense quickly and delivering the ball to the athlete’s receiver before the defense could react. Elliott’s system focuses on adjusting routes and getting the ball out with precise timing.

Armstrong and his receiver have struggled with adjustments, but Elliott said he’s showing signs of improvement. These improvements did not translate into point production and caused a lot of frustration for those wearing orange and blue garlands.

“You just have to keep watering and keep believing and trusting that at some point it will click and you’ll see growth,” Elliott said.

What does this mean in the long term for this season as opposed to the long term for the program? Louisville will represent the midpoint of the 2022 season and a loss would be devastating for the Cavaliers. It will be a big blow. Against a very mediocre Cardinals team, he will go 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the ACC. To qualify for the bowl, UVA must win half of his six remaining games against schedule meat.

Is it more important for Elliott to establish his culture and philosophy, regardless of the results of his win-loss record this season, than to build for the future? I used an analogy.

“They will resist at times because they have succeeded in a certain way,” explained the coach. “But this is a new regime and a new direction for the future.

“They are successful in their own way. has been successful since. [at Clemson]”

For Elliott, it’s about establishing a strong foundation for the future of Virginia’s football.

“You can take the ‘that’s a good team’ approach, but then you’re doing it all over again every year and you haven’t established a foundation for your program,” Elliot said. “For me, the basis of this program is to be grateful for the opportunity to play. Don’t you?”

Coaches were uneasy that some players had casually walked onto the field at Duke University. That’s why Elliott said there were too many “individuals” on the team at this point.

Virginia was also the team with the most penalties in the ACC, and some of these penalties caused Elliott to boil emotionally during Duke’s game. I just noticed.

“My biggest challenge is staying calm, right?” Elliott said. “I pride myself on trying to be a calm guy. The cultural part is finding the right way to communicate with these guys and have them believe and be accepted.

“I was a little embarrassed by my reaction to some things during the game, just because I lost my cool a bit. I believe my job at the time was to try to address them.”

Virginia fans believed the first half of the schedule would be the easiest part, with possible wins against Louisville and Georgia Tech (Thursday, October 20), but Elliott was just like the fans. I didn’t look at the schedule like that. .

Is it important to pick up some wins and build momentum for a more challenging second half of the season?

“I think it’s important, but you don’t want to risk building a winning program because those wins are short-lived, right?” Elliott said. “Believe me, I want to win every game. ‘Okay, these are games you can win,'” he said, not looking at the schedule. Right now, I’m trying to get a general idea of ​​what I need to do as a staff member to be successful against Louisville. ”

Elliot told the players that they are now a group of individuals rather than teams, and that is why they are not playing as they should.

“When we heal as a team, this team can be something special,” Elliott said. “We have all the ingredients we need to win every game.”

According to Vegas Insider, Virginia trails Louisville by 2.5 points.