UVa Wraps Up Spring with Orange-Blue Game
April 18, 2015
Charlottesville, Va. – (Associated Press) It looks like Virginia’s quarterback battle will head into August undecided.
There appeared to be little separation gained by either as Lambert, who started, completed 6 of 14 passes for 79 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and Johns was 11 of 23 for 66 yards. Lambert was sacked twice, and Johns once, and each led a field goal drive.
Offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild plans to watch plenty of film of spring practice before addressing the position with reporters.
Here are some other observations from the Orange and Blue game:
SPLASHY ENTRANCE: Virginia fans might remember T.J. Thorpe from last season. He was the guy hauling in the winning touchdown pass for North Carolina as the Tar Heels capped a comeback and beat the Cavaliers 28-27. Thorpe made quite an early splash in his debut as a Virginia transfer on Saturday.
He ran 47 yards with a jet sweep on the second offensive play, caught a 20-yard pass from Greyson Lambert a few plays later and then had a 12-yard touchdown grab to cap the opening drive.
“I just always want the ball,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe gives the Cavaliers a dangerous dimension at receiver, Lambert said.
“Very dynamic,” he said. “He can take the top off of a defense and that speed allows him to kind of create separation on the other routes as well because a (defender) has to respect him.”
Thorpe finished with four catches for 58 yards.
BROWN’S ARRIVAL: Andrew Brown arrived with great expectations at Virginia as a five-star recruit, but Saturday was the first time he showed what he can be when his mind is right on Saturday with 3 Â½ tackles for loss among his six tackles.
“Those accolades are pretty much gone now,” he said of the hype. “It’s college ball. It’s no longer high school and that’s what I had to come to, that realization, and so things have slowed down for me. I’m more accustomed to the speed of the game having a year under my belt so I’m definitely ready.”
Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta said now the trick is to keep it up.
“He changed his body and he’s working on his fundamentals. The guy has tremendous ability but he’s got to stay consistent,” Tenuta said. “He has definitely grown tremendously since when he came in a year ago January.”
CAPTAINS: Virginia players select the team captains, and coach Mike London said the three winners were clear cut.
The Cavaliers often have more captains, but London said he decided not to add more just to have more.
Lambert, who was a captain last season, and Johns are both members of the 14-member leadership council.
POWER RUSH: London says Virginia is trying to make a power running game its identity, and utilizing the fullback more.
The return of Dave Borbely as offensive line coach has had a lot to do with making the players buy in, Burbank said.
“Coach Borbs is a huge part of it and just his attitude, taking us to believe in ourselves and really know what we can do and he’s confident in us and it just helps build confidence in ourselves,’ Burbank said, “and if we’re doing it, it’s easier for the backs to do it, and for the receivers and tight ends.
“It really all starts with us and if we can continue to do it, the whole offense can do it.”