CHARLOTTESVILLE — A football team that holds a commanding lead or faces an insurmountable deficit usually goes with reserves once a game’s outcome is effectively decided.
If things go as expected Saturday afternoon at Scott Stadium — UVa is a huge favorite over VMI — Mike London probably will want to rest his starting quarterback, fifth-year senior Marc Verica, at some point.
So what happens then?
London said Monday, and again Wednesday, that he’s not sure. On the depth chart distributed for the VMI game, Ross Metheny and Michael Rocco share the spot below Verica.
Metheny is a redshirt freshman. Rocco is a true freshman, as is Michael Strauss, the Cavaliers’ No. 4 quarterback.
“I think we’re going to have to make a decision here, whether it’s going to be Ross Metheny or Michael Rocco or Michael Strauss, because you can’t get all those guys reps,” London said Monday during his weekly press conference at John Paul Jones Arena.
“This game may force us to make that type of decision, as to who’s the next guy in the game …. I mean, you should be in a situation where the second guy has gotten reps and has been battle-tested by being in a game.”
So far this season, Verica is the only quarterback to have played for UVa (1-1).
That Metheny already has redshirted will be “factored into the equation,” London said Wednesday during the ACC coaches’ teleconference, “but it’s not the only determining factor.”
If Verica were to get injured, London said, his replacement would be “the next-best quarterback.” The redshirt situation would be considered, London said, but “being able to move the team and operate the offense is as important.
“Whether it’s Ross or Rocco or Michael Strauss, whoever it may be, that’s going to be the main criteria: to be able to finish or win a game for us, and run the offense and make sure it’s done efficiently.”
In a blowout, he might be more inclined to play Metheny and preserve Rocco’s redshirt year, London acknowledged, but he’s still weighing his options.
“There are a lot of variables that we, particularly right now, have to take into account,” London said. “The moment to make that decision is drawing very close here.”