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Charlottesville, VA – The Virginia football team capped off its spring football practice session with a 70-minute scrimmage-like session in front of 4,000 fans at Scott Stadium Saturday afternoon. No score was kept as head coach Al Groh had the offense and defense compete against each other with numerous reserves and redshirt freshmen seeing plenty of action on the field. There were no special teams as part of the practice.

Of the 86 plays executed, 70 were passing and the offense ran the ball just 16 times for 35 yards. Virginia’s quarterbacks and receivers combined for 358 yards. Raynard Horne was the only tailback with more than three carries. He had four rushing attempts for 12 yards. Rashawn Jackson had three carries for 12 yards.

A trio of quarterbacks competing for the starting position looked sharp throwing to a total of 14 different receivers. Scott Deke, who was on the field for the first possession, completed 17 of 23 passes for 160 yards and two scores. Mark Verica completed 17 of 25 passes for 110 yards and one score. Peter Lalich had six receptions in 18 attempts for 72 yards and tossed three interceptions, two of which came on spectacular plays by the defense.

Matt Leemhuis came away with the ball on what looked like a catch on a long throw by Lalich to Dontrelle Inman. Defensive end Matt Conrath made a diving interception to stop another drive by the offense.

Groh said afterwards he let the quarterbacks guess a number between one and 50 pregame that he had picked. The one closest got to start and Deke came the closest.

Tight end Andrew Devlin led all receivers with seven catches for 64 yards. John Phillips, Staton Jobe and Devlin were each on the receiving end of a scoring toss.

Linebacker Darren Childs led the defense with six solo tackles and one pass defense. Chase Minnifield, Dom Joseph and Aaron Clark each had five tackles. The defense played in a base 3-4 the entire game and did not go into any nickel or dime pass coverages.

“What I am positive about is that in practice number 15, with what we could have gotten done at this point, we are pretty closed to that,” Groh said. “We just have to see what that adds up to. Whether that ever adds up to enough or how close or not enough. The players and coaches alike have been diligent about doing it and getting done what we could have gotten done here to this point.”

Virginia opens the 2008 season Aug. 30 at Scott Stadium against Southern California.

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