As Virginia had a record-breaking win against UConn on Saturday, two former Cavalier wide receivers who played under previous coaching staffs had some relatively harsh words on social media about past succession planning - or lack thereof - at the quarterback position.
It began when Jennings, who’s currently on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, remarked that he caught passes from six quarterbacks at UVA, while Kurt Benkert has been the hand-picked starter for most of Bronco Mendenhall’s 15 games as head coach.
I caught passes from 6 different QBs in my 4 years at Virginia. It's nice seeing the offense settled with one guy— Darius Jennings (@DariusJennings_) September 16, 2017
Jennings’ starting quarterbacks were Michael Rocco, Phillip Sims, David Watford, Greyson Lambert, and Matt Johns - all over the course of four years.
Brah I always try to explain to people why we struggled so much. I caught from 9 Qbs— Tim Smith (@tim_smith20) September 16, 2017
check that I had 8. We had a 3 way qb competition my 1st year in 2009— Tim Smith (@tim_smith20) September 16, 2017
Smith, who played five years at UVA after getting a medical hardship in 2010, caught from Rocco, Sims, Watford, Jameel Sewell, Marc Verica, Vic Hall, Ross Metheny, and Perry Jones.
Jennings also took what could be interpreted as a dig at the “power running” offensive system of Steve Fairchild, who was offensive coordinator from 2013-15. Jennings played for both Fairchild and Bill Lazor, who was offensive coordinator from 2010-12. Smith’s first offensive coordinator was Gregg Brandon, in 2009.
3 WRs over 100. I would have loved this offense— Darius Jennings (@DariusJennings_) September 16, 2017
Of course, it’s not just the quarterback position that was inconsistent. Jennings and Smith went through a lot of coaching staff inconsistencies as well.
oh yeah for sure. 2 head coaches, 3 offensive coordinators and 3 WR coaches. Crazy haha— Tim Smith (@tim_smith20) September 16, 2017
In Saturday’s 38-18 win over the Huskies, Benkert was 30-40 for 455 yards (breaking his own school record for passing yards in a game), one interception, and three touchdowns. Additionally, three Cavaliers had over 100 receiving yards in the same game for the first time in program history. Olamide Zaccheaus had nine catches for 122 yards, Doni Dowling had six for 136, and Andre Levrone had four for 127.
UVA improved to 2-1, and is above .500 for just the second time since October of 2014. Up next for the Hoos is a trip to Boise State for a Friday night kickoff at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Correction: An earlier edition of this article incorrectly stated that this was the second time in program history that three Cavaliers had over 100 receiving yards in the same game.