Virginia head coach Mike London revealed Monday who the Cavalier’s starting quarterback would be for this season. The announcement was that last year’s starter, Michael Rocco, would once again be the starter. To some that isn’t a surprise because he led Virginia to an 8-5 record last season and their first bowl game since 2007. However, some others are surprised because the Cavalier’s number two quarterback, Phillip Sims, may be the most talented player on their entire football team. So now the question is will Rocco continue to be the starter all season?
Virginia’s success last season came as a surprise to a lot of people. It was only Mike London’s second season at the helm, but he had a very good defense and a serviceable offense. Rocco was a big part of that, but at the beginning of the season Mike London tried to go with the two quarterback approach. London would have Rocco play quarterback for a few series and then (now 3rd string quarterback) David Watford would play for a series or two. The offense proved to be stagnant with this approach. London eventually dropped the idea and Rocco was the only quarterback on the field after that.
Last season Rocco passed for 2,671 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also threw 12 interceptions but his statistics weren’t bad considering that he was sharing reps with another player for the first half of the season. Rocco must step up this season if the Wahoos are going to return to a bowl game. The great defense from last year is mostly gone and the offense will have to pick up some of the slack.
Michael Rocco can’t feel too comfortable just yet. He has Phillip Sims on his heels. Sims is a transfer student that originally went to Alabama. He announced that he would be transferring to Virginia in May. Sims appears to be more of a big play threat then Rocco, but he hasn’t had a whole lot of time to learn all of the intricacies of the offense.
For now Rocco is the starter, something he deserves for last season, but if he begins to struggle and the team falters then we may start to hear the fans calling for Sims.