WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

UVa Sticking with Rocco Against Louisiana Tech

Mike London isn't ready to make a change at starting quarterback this week when his Virginia football team hosts Louisiana Tech. But London acknowledges that he needs to see some improvement.

"Right now there is no change of strategy. Both of them, though, have to perform -- and allow us to be competitive and win some games," London told reporters on Monday, referring to junior Michael Rocco and sophomore Phillip Sims.

Rocco has started Virginia's last 17 games, dating back to the start of the 2011 season. He's completed 74-of-123 passes this year, for 838 yards, four touchdowns, and five interceptions. Those stats include four interceptions in the team's back-to-back road losses at Georgia Tech and TCU the past two weeks.

Sims, who transferred from Alabama this summer and was granted an NCAA waiver to play immediately, has appeared in all four games for the Cavaliers. His stats include 18-of-29 passing for 174 yards and three touchdowns. All three of his touchdown passes have come in Virginia's last two losses.

"The great thing about those two guys is they're great competitors, and they understand that what's best for the team is what's best for the team, ultimately," London said. "So there's no issues with us right now with the quarterbacks. We know we have to play better, and the surrounding cast has to play better as well."

"I know me, and I can speak for all my teammates when I say that our confidence doesn't go down whether Mike is in or Phil is in," sophomore running back Khalek Shepherd said. "We have two great quarterbacks that can run our offense effectively."

Both of Virginia's wins have come at Scott Stadium, where on Saturday they'll face a Louisiana Tech team that's 3-0, and 11th in the country in total offense. But the Bulldogs are also ranked 115th in the nation in total defense, and 117th in pass defense.

"This is the type of game that will kind of tell a lot here, a little bit," London said. "We're at Game 4, into Game 5. The style of defense that we're going to go against. It's kind of important that we throw the ball where it's supposed to be thrown -- catch and run opportunities; move the team -- before we go into league play."


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