After an impressive defensive win to start the season against the BYU Cougars, the Virginia Cavaliers have gone just 1-4 and remain buried at the bottom of the ACC. A major part of the problem has been the inability of the offense to create any consistent production. There was hope that things would be different this season with a new offensive coordinator and new quarterback, but David Watford is simply floundering under center.
The sophomore quarterback has struggled to start the season and currently ranks dead last in the ACC among current starting quarterbacks in QB rating. He’s completing just 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,076 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Cavaliers have turned the ball over more than any other team in the conference this season (14 total turnovers) and Watford has been a major culprit. His 179.3 yards per game average currently ranks No. 12 among ACC quarterbacks, ahead of only Vad Lee of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (who do not throw the ball) and Terrel Hunt of the Syracuse Orange (who just took over the passing duties for the team).
Part of the problem has been a disappointing supporting cast around Watford. The top two receivers on the team, Jake McGee and Kevin Parks, are a tight end and running back who are more often than not Watford’s checkdown option in the passing game. There’s no vertical threat to this offense and no true No. 1 receiver on the outside that Watford can count on the make a play. Senior Tim Smith is the closest they have had so far this season and he’s only caught 12 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown through six games.
The inability of the offense to produce yards or points continues to be a major stumbling block for UVA. Watford must make better decisions with the football to create some opportunities and the receivers have to step up and make something out of those opportunities. If they continue to spin their wheels offensively, it will be another long offseason for the Cavaliers.