Virginia Spring Game: Cavaliers Fail to Show Much Progression on Offense
On Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Virginia Cavaliers took to the field for their annual spring game. In a game in which the Orange Team would go on to defeat the Blue Team by a tight score of 18-15, a lot of the attention was focused on the offense of new coordinator Steve Fairchild. After a lackluster year in 2012 on offense, many people were hoping to see positive results. Unfortunately, there were very few indications of anything positive on the offensive side of the ball.
With a quarterback situation that’s considered sketchy, at best, there really wasn’t any kind of definitive answer given as to who is the clear front-runner to run the offense in 2013.
The battle between David Watford and Phillip Sims remained pretty much a stalemate after the game ended. Neither quarterback seemed to outshine the other. With Watford going 5-10 for 55 yards and Sims going 8-18 for 89 yards, neither one really reached out and grabbed that brass ring.
Watford hasn’t seen action since the 2011 season, so there’s still a little more time for him to improve before September. Sims brings the experience to the table, seeing action in 12 games last season, completing over 55% of his passes for nine touchdowns.
Still, it seems as if head coach Mike London will have to exit 2013 spring practice without naming a definitive starting quarterback.
As far as combination of offensive line and running backs are concerned, that showing was probably the most alarming aspect of the game today for the Cavaliers.
In what is quite the eyebrow-raising statistic, the Cavaliers’ running backs combined for just 109 yards on 39 carries today. That’s an average of just 2.8 yards per rush. For a scrimmage such as this, that shouldn’t exactly bring out much optimism from any UVA fan. With Fairchild stressing a more smash-mouth type running game in 2013, it certainly wasn’t seen on the field today.
Clearly, UVA has a lot of work to do before that first week of September rolls around. Even with the new assistant coaching hires, including former N.C. State head coach Tom O’ Brien as an offensive assistant, some of these woes better be figured out within the next few months. If they don’t, then the Mike London era in Charlottesville may be nearing its end. Speaking of which, who did I just say was hired as an offensive assistant this season? Let that thought sink in for a moment, Cavs fans.