No Winner Yet in Battle for No. 2 QB Job
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A decision on who will be UVa’s No. 2 quarterback against Florida State won’t come until after Thursday’s practice.
That was the word from head coach Mike London on his weekly Thursday morning teleconference with reporters.
Virginia (2-1) opens ACC play Saturday afternoon against Florida State (1-0, 3-1) at Scott Stadium. On the depth chart UVa released Monday, Marc Verica is listed as the No. 1 quarterback, as expected. Ross Metheny and Michael Rocco share the next spot.
After practice Thursday, London said, it’s likely that to one of them he’ll “say, ‘Hey, look, you’re going to be the guy.’ And if [offensive coorindator] Bill Lazor isn’t satisfied with the performance of either one or says it’s still close, it may be a game-time decision. But I think you’d like the guys to know, ‘Hey, listen, you’re the next guy in the game.’ “
Metheny and Rocco made their college debuts last weekend in Virginia’s 48-7 win over VMI, and each threw a touchdown pass. The left-handed Metheny is a redshirt freshman. The right-handed Rocco is a true freshman.
“It was good to see both of them manage the offense,” London said Wednesday morning on the ACC coaches’ teleconference.
The team was off Monday, but the coaching staff evaluated Metheny and Rocco in full-pad practices Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rocco threw an interception against the Keydets, but came back to lead UVa on a touchdown drive on its next possession. For the game, he completed 4 of 6 passes for 64 yards. Metheny was 4 for 5 for 53 yards and wasn’t intercepted.
“Ross has done a nice job of just continuing to improve,” London said. “And I think competition has made both of them better.”
Verica is a fifth-year senior and so won’t be back in 2011. But London said his focus is on this season, and so he’s not concerned about getting a younger quarterback experience that might help him in ’11.
“What appeals to me is having the best guy in there under the circumstance that can win the game for us,” London said. If that’s Verica, “because of his leadership, because of playing, then so be it.
“I’m not looking to putting another guy in on a move-the-clock situation at the end of a half or the end of a game to try to win the game, or [trying] to give him experience at that particular moment. We’ll just have to pick and choose the moments that we put him in, but we’ll stick with what we’ve got until we’re forced to do something different.”