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Center-quarterback exchange a point of emphasis for Cavaliers

Viewers of Monday night’s matchup between Boise State and Virginia Tech were provided a reminder of just how difficult seemingly simple tasks – such as securely snapping the ball to the quarterback – can be. On the game’s second play from scrimmage, quarterback Tyrod Taylor fumbled the snap and turned the ball over on the Virginia Tech 31 yard-line. Boise State got on the board with a field goal a few plays later and went on to claim a 33-30 victory.

Virginia Coach Mike London watched that game on television. And when asked on Tuesday about his own team’s center-quarterback exchange, he offered some thoughts as to the various factors involved in the execution, as well as how damaging faulty execution of the snap can be.

“It was an issue early on during camp, and even sometimes later in camp about sometimes just a simple quarterback-center exchange,” London said. “As simple as it sounds, it can be devastating, as far as the turnover that it leads to. The center wants to be able to snap and step at the same time and get to his assignment. The quarterback wants to get out quickly because maybe he knows a guard is pulling and crossing his face. Both of them are culpable sometimes to the ball security aspect of it.”

Fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica and junior center Anthony Mihota had no issues with the snap exchange Saturday during Virginia’s season-opening win over Richmond.

“I just think in the game both Marc and Anthony were very cognizant of the fact that, ‘Hey listen, first and foremost I've got to get the ball to you. And then once that happens, you're on your own. You've got to do what you need to do,’” London said. “But that is a point of emphasis. You just hate to do things that you do routinely all the time and sometimes you take for granted.

“The first thing that we do (at practice) is quarterback-center exchange. You do it, and you do it, and you do it. And then in a game sometimes, for whatever reason, the ball is put on the ground. That's one of the things that you hope to try to eliminate just by doing it so many times it becomes second nature.”

By Steve Yanda  |  September 9, 2010; 12:17 PM ET
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