WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

QB Question Continues to Linger at UVa

It's a question Mike London has been asked countless times, in his three seasons as head coach at Virginia. And it's a subject that is sure to come up quite a bit again this upcoming off-season.

The quarterback position.

Junior Michael Rocco began the 2012 season as the Cavaliers' starter. After a 2-3 start, Rocco was replaced by sophomore Phillip Sims, who went 0-3 in his first three college starts. Virginia emerged from its bye week riding a rotation of Rocco and Sims to back-to-back wins, before last Thursday's 37-13 loss to North Carolina.

The Cavaliers' season concludes with Saturday's visit to Virginia Tech.

"It's probably safe to say that both quarterbacks will play," London said this week. "But to the extent of how much and when and where, I mean, that remains to be seen. But going into the last game, we will try to utilize every player that we have on our roster to help us."

Going back to the start of the 2011 season, Rocco started 18 straight games for the Cavaliers, before being replaced by Sims at Duke on October 6. He's completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,740 yards this year, with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Sims arrived at Virginia this past summer after transferring from Alabama, and was granted an NCAA waiver allowing him to play for the Cavaliers immediately. After appearing in Virginia's first five games off the bench, he made his first career start at Duke, followed by games at home against Maryland and Wake Forest. Sims has completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,253 yards, with nine touchdowns and six interceptions, plus a pair of rushing touchdowns.

London didn't commit to continuing the quarterback rotation next season, when Rocco and Sims will be joined on the depth chart by sophomore David Watford and freshmen Greyson Lambert and Matt Johns, who are all redshirting this season.

"This year the quarterback situation was dictated out of need, borne out of necessity, and what happens in the spring and next year I'm quite sure will be reevaluated again," London said. "You'd like to have a quarterback in the succession thereof, and hopefully as we have these quarterbacks on our roster and separated them by years that we'd be able to do that."

Both Rocco and Sims say they're ready to renew their competition for the full-time quarterback job.

"I'm going to approach the off-season like I'm the leader of the team, like I did last year. And I think he's going to do it the same way," said Rocco. "We're just going to work together, like we've done all season. We're going to compete against each other, like we've done all season. And we're going to push each other."

"As a competitor, everybody wants to be the guy," said Sims. "Every game, every second, every minute. Everybody wants to be that guy. So I would be letting myself down if I didn't hope for me to be that guy. So I just expect more from myself. I've just got to improve and get better over the off-season, get ready for next year."


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