UVa has two quarterbacks, needs just one

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UVa has two quarterbacks, needs just one

By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

At 4-7, Virginia is in a familiar situation: playing for pride and another winter break without a bowl trip.

At the center – or rather, under center – of it all is Michael Rocco, the workmanlike junior quarterback who gives five-star effort. In giving that effort, Rocco takes snaps away from Phillip Sims, perhaps the more talented signal caller.

Excluding tonight’s game against North Carolina, Rocco has started six of UVa’s games, with Sims leading the way for the other four.

Throw out the Richmond and Penn State games, and each quarterback has piloted the Cavaliers to one win – Rocco the thriller over Miami, Sims the beat down of NC State.

Along the way, the two quarterbacks have put up similar statistics, with Rocco’s edging Sims – albeit slightly – across the board: completing 61.5% of his passes to Sims’ 57.5%, accounting for 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions against Sims’ 10 scores (eight passing, two rushing) and 4 picks, for an efficiency rating edge of 132.5 to 124.3.

The real difference between the two is felt on the field; Rocco looks like an overachiever while Sims exudes raw potential and flashes of brilliance.

With another season drawing to a close, and a youth movement in full swing at the other skill positions, which player should take the remainder of Virginia’s snaps?

Recruiting rankings aren’t everything, or even close to it - otherwise, Al Groh would still be in town. However, Sims parlayed his Parade All-American, top-ranked high school quarterback status into a scholarship offer from Nick Saban and Alabama.

At Alabama, Sims acquitted himself well enough to push and share time with A.J. McCarron – who currently has a top-10 quarterback rating and Heisman candidacy. In limited action (eight games), Sims completed 64% of his passes, and spent the balance of his time preparing to take the reins of a National Championship team.

The Cavaliers haven’t had a quarterback with this much raw talent in a decade or more. The saying goes that if your team has two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have one. 

UVa. needs to figure out who that quarterback is. 

No. 7 Virginia claws back to beat Ohio State

No. 7 Virginia claws back to beat Ohio State

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — London Perrantes scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and No. 7 Virginia overcame a sloppy performance and rallied past Ohio State 63-61 on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Devon Hall added 12 points for the Cavaliers (7-0), who trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and didn't take the lead for good until Marial Shayok's baseline runner made it 59-57 with 1:58 remaining.

The Buckeyes (6-1) trailed 63-61 when Shayok missed two free throws with 10.5 seconds left. Coach Thad Matta called a timeout with 6.5 seconds to play, but JaQuan Lyle couldn't find an open teammate as the clock ran down and launched a 3-point try that missed badly.

Jae'Sean Tate led Ohio State with 14 points and Lyle had 12.

MORE NCAA HOOPS: Virginia Tech tops Michigan 

Virginia Tech fights back to top Michigan

Virginia Tech fights back to top Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Zach LeDay scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half, and Virginia Tech rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to beat Michigan 73-70 on Wednesday night.

The Hokies (6-1) trailed 67-63 late in the second half before a 3-pointer by Justin Bibbs started an 8-0 run. Seth Allen gave Virginia Tech the lead with a driving layup, then added a 3-pointer.

Duncan Robinson's 3-pointer with 42 seconds left pulled Michigan (5-2) to within a point, and an offensive foul on Allen gave the Wolverines the ball back. But Michigan was out of timeouts, and Zak Irvin ended up trying a tough jumper from just inside the arc that missed.

After Bibbs made two free throws with 3.9 seconds left, Robinson had a chance to tie it, but his 3-pointer from the left wing missed.

Michigan was in total control at the start, jumping out to a 17-4 lead and eventually going up 23-8 on a 3-pointer by Derrick Walton. Virginia Tech was down 39-30 at halftime but opened the second half with a 9-2 run.

Irvin led Michigan with 23 points.

MORE NCAA HOOPS: Pryor helps Hoyas dominate Coppin State