It might have taken longer than some expected, but the Virginia Cavaliers have finally settled on a starting quarterback for the 2013 season.
Despite being listed as the No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart following spring practices, David Watford had not officially been tabbed the starter. That all changed Monday when head coach Mike London announced his plans to start the redshirt sophomore in the season opener against BYU.
The battle had come down to Watford and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert, but in the end, Watford’s experience and athleticism were the difference. London noted that the Cavaliers offense gives the quarterback a chance to run the football, and that Watford is the better dual-threat quarterback of the two.
Watford did play sparingly as a freshman, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns, but redshirted last year when the Cavaliers went 4-8.
It was an ugly season for Virginia, particularly on offense. The quarterback position was a mess as Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims both saw significant snaps. Neither was particularly productive, and although both could have returned this year, neither will be. Rocco decided to transfer to Richmond, while Sims was kicked off the team.
Their departures opened the door for Watford, and the 6-foot-2, 200-pound signal caller has been preparing as though he would be the starter.
One benefit Watford will have is the return of leading rusher Kevin Parks. His presence will force defenses to account for him in the run game, and open up opportunities in play action. Also, Watford will have most of the leading receivers back from 2012 squad.
The Cavaliers are hoping to improve on their dismal 4-8 record a year ago, and getting better quarterback play would be a great start.