TSL Roundtable: Expectations vs. Results

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Justin Fuente and the Hokies went 9-3 during the regular season for the second year in a row. (Ivan Morozov)

Taking into account your preseason expectations, what’s your view of the 2017 season?

Upwind of uva: This has been an odd season for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the team record was about what I would have expected, but the way we got there wasn’t at all how I expected the journey to go. Preseason I was predicting 8-4 overall, or 9-3 when I looked at the strength of our opponents. Where things got weird is that I’ve watched young players behave like young players and yet I didn’t really notice the growth that I’d hoped for.

I was betting on an offense that wouldn’t be as capable due to player losses to graduation and early NFL departures, but I expected Coach Fuente would have these youngsters playing his preferred system rather than featuring a QB who got by on brute strength and sheer force of will and great receivers. I expected the offense would look better as the season wore on as those young replacements gained experience. But with a young QB I didn’t expect progress to be consistent, just that it would trend in the right direction. Add in the injuries, and it’s probably a little less progress on the system side, a little more cobbling together an offense that doesn’t really look well oiled, but isn’t a catastrophe either. So, is that some small measure of progress? I dunno.

Defensively I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t a defense that would carry the team to most of its nine wins. I did not expect dominance by Settle and Walker, I did not expect Stroman

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