Quarterback Controversy: Michael Rocco vs. Phillip Sims
More than a third of the way through the season, Virginia fans still aren't sure who should be the Cavaliers' starting quarterback. Will either candidate step up as ACC play rapidly approaches and fan frustration mounts?
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From the ACC Coaches' teleconference on Wednesday, Virginia Football head coach Mike London reaffirmed his position that Michael Rocco would indeed be starting over Phillip Sims on Saturday against Louisiana Tech. Here's what he said on the two quarterbacks:
We're always evaluating what our players are doing, particularly Michael and anyone else that goes into the game. Eyes are always on the guys that handle the ball 100% of the time. It's no different. Michael will have the opportunity to play and start this game out and hopefully there is an opportunity to get them in the game.
Mike understands he has to play well. Phillip understands if he goes into the game, he has to play well. At 2‑2 reminded that this time last [year], we were in the same situation, 2‑2. The last five of our eight games are at home in our place. So I expect the execution of the offense to improve. It has to be done. It has to start with the guys taking the snaps.
They're two different types of players in the standpoint that Phillip is understanding from a system he's coming from to where we are now. Mike's had three years of learning. Phillip's had months of learning. There are some things that one can do better than the other, but you go back, and the other guy can do some things because of balance of the offense and things like that that the other guy doesn't know he's improving on.
So both of them played in the pro‑style offense, and as we continue the learning curve of one, the other one understands that he's got to play better and execute and everyone's embraced the challenge. On game day Saturday we'll see who rises to the challenge.
We'll keep you updated right here as the drama -- or hopefully nondrama -- unfolds this weekend.