The Virginia Cavaliers put up a valiant effort over the past two weeks to keep their bowl hopes and season as a whole alive, but it was all for not as the Wahoos lost to rival North Carolina on Thursday night. Virginia’s season seemed doomed just a few short weeks ago, when the Cavs were in the midst of a six game losing streak, but they were able to keep their bowl hopes alive for an extra couple of weeks.
Virginia’s entire season can almost all be traced back to one thing; quarterback play. Mike London has insisted on using a two quarterback system during his time in Charlottesville. This year the two quarterbacks have been Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims, but for most of the season that game plan didn’t pan out. During the Cavs two game win streak, both quarterbacks played well and proved to be excellent complements to one another, but on Thursday nothing worked for either of them.
Rocco and Sims both had problems with accuracy against the Tar Heels. Rocco completed 11-of-16 passes and Sims completed 8-of-17 attempts. Neither of them appeared to be able to get into any kind of groove in the game. Rocco threw an interception (one of two UVa turnovers in the game), and he was unable to get his team in the end zone.
Sims accounted for the Cavaliers lone touchdown when he hooked up with Darius Jennings for a 9-yard score, but that was the lone highlight for either quarterback. However, the loss can’t be solely blamed on the quarterbacks. The offensive line struggled for most of the game. Both Simms and Rocco were forced to run for their lives.
Plenty of people could see this performance coming. The team that lost six straight was going to rear its ugly head at least one more time this season, it just happened to occur against UNC on national television. Fans hoped that last year’s appearance in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl was a sign of things to come for the Cavaliers, but that was an experienced team with senior leadership. The defense kept games low scoring and the offense simply had to manage the game.
That has not been the case this year. It has been on the offense to outscore opponents, something they have failed to do in the majority of games and it has cost them dearly.
The Cavaliers have assured themselves a losing record in 2012, but all is not lost and you better believe that they still have something to play for in the final week of the season. Virginia will be able to partly salvage their season if they can defeat archrival Virginia Tech in the final game of the season. The Cavaliers haven’t beaten the Hokies since 2003; it still remains to be seen if this Wahoo team is good enough to go into Lane Stadium and come out with a win. The Cavaliers put up a valiant effort to save their season, they just came up short.