FanPost

Is this the year that the unexplainable loss doesn't occur





Of course, to make the claim it won't happen comes with the assumption about why it happens. For the sake of this discussion, we'll only talk of 2012's NC State, 2011's Virginia (giving Clemson and Wake Forest losses to being explained by injuries, especially to the QB and the run on the offensive line) and 2010's NC State and UNC

Here's my hypothesis on why these happen: sticking with what's not working for too long, or not long enough. It's a fine balance. For example, the running game may not be working in the first quarter but you stick with it because eventually (you expect given the opponent) you wear down the front 7 of the defense and consistently break long runs in the fourth. But for a different opponent, maybe you are just outmatched and will be in the fourth quarter.

So, if my hypothesis is correct, explaining the unexplained loss, then why does that end this season?

First is because of the defensive changes. Stoops had a 4-3-4 and 4-2-5 he used consistently, with some 4-1-6. From there, he relied on execution. Pruitt brings a much more multiple defense - more options to turn to when things aren't working. Add in the seasoned coaching vet Sal Sunseri (and Kelly is no slouch either) to pull on his experience, and knowing when to move on from what's not working is less of an issue.

That said, I think most of the issue has been on the offense -- 2011's Virginia loss and NC State last year weren't exactly defensive shootouts. But of the three offensive assistants who left in the off-season, two were clearly junior to Fisher, the OC. Of the three replacements, only one (Graham) is in that situation. Tim Brewster and Randy Sanders may not be offensive gurus, but they are well-seasoned. Brewster has head coaching experience, and Sanders has more years as an OC than Fisher. And both should have both the confidence to speak up and gravitas to be heard. And observers/reporters have said that Fisher has been delegating more and seems more relaxed - an indication that the offensive game plan and hopefully in game adjustments are more the team effort than Fisher's first three years.

Does that mean the only possible losses are Clemson and Florida? Maybe. Winston hasn't been spotted walking on water (yet) and may yet play like a freshman. Injuries may limit the offense, or create a defensive weakness. But I think it looks good for Fisher's bad streak to end.

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