In his weekly press conference, Virginia Cavaliers Head Coach Tony Elliott announced that Monmouth transfer Tony Muskett is expected to start this Saturday when UVA kicks off against the Boston College Eagles. This comes after Muskett missed the past three weeks due to a shoulder injury with true freshman Anthony Colandrea impressing in his absence.
Tony Elliott said he anticipates #UVa QB Tony Muskett playing this week.— Greg Madia (@GregMadia) September 26, 2023
“He’s the starting quarterback.”
In three starts, Colandrea has thrown for 912 yards, five touchdowns, a 61.8% completion percentage, along with six interceptions. Evidenced by the raw numbers, Colandrea has had his ups and his downs, but the flashes he’s shown as a true freshman playing in an offense that can’t get much of anything going in the running game have been enough to prove that he is the future of the quarterback position for the Cavaliers.
Nevertheless, Elliott and his staff remained committed to injury not resulting in the loss of a starting job, so Muskett will get the nod against Boston College. In Muskett’s one start this year, he was overwhelmed by Tennessee’s next-level defense with his offensive line dooming him in that game. He did still have a few nice throws across the middle of the field and finished with 94 yards through the air on 9-for-17 passing.
The debate between Muskett and Colandrea is an interesting one. On the one hand, Muskett might give UVA a better chance to win in the short term because he’ll be less prone to make the mistakes that Colandrea has and likely has a stronger arm, especially on deep balls, than his freshman teammate.
That said, Colandrea is the future and UVA is 0-4. Sure, some of that is a result of his fourth quarter troubles over the past two weeks. But he’s also been a rare bright spot for a team that has simply been one of the worst in college football. It’s hard to justify benching him for the hope of saving an 0-4 season with a quarterback that might not be more than marginally better than him.
Virginia is in a good spot where they have two players who seem to be average or maybe even above average ACC quarterbacks. But how the staff manages this situation will go a long way towards determining the future of this program and how warm Tony Elliott’s seat is come December.
Who do you want to start at quarterback for Virginia?
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