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London won't insert backup QB into close game purely for sake of gaining experience

Virginia Coach Mike London said Wednesday during his segment on the ACC coaches' teleconference that he would not consider inserting either of his top two backup quarterbacks -- redshirt freshman Ross Metheny and true freshman Michael Rocco -- into a close game purely for the purpose of having them gain experience.

Metheny and Rocco both saw their first collegiate playing time Saturday in the second half of a blowout win over division I-AA Virginia Military Institute.

"What appeals to me is having the best guy in there under the circumstances that can win the game for us," London said. "And if it's [fifth-year senior starter Marc Verica] and his ability, because of his leadership, because of playing, then so be it. I'm not looking to put another guy in in a move-the-clock situation at the end of the half or at the end of a game and try to win the game or coming out to give him the experience at that particular moment.

"I'll just have to pick and choose the moments that you put them in, but you know, we'll stick with what we've got until we're forced to do something different."

London said Metheny and Rocco both practiced efficiently Tuesday and that a decision on which of the two reserves will serve as the No. 2 quarterback Saturday against Florida State will be made "probably by Thursday."

As for the wide receivers Verica will throw to from here on out, London said there will be no designated No. 3 target to replace sophomore Tim Smith, who will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing ankle surgery Friday.

Senior Dontrelle Inman and junior Kris Burd are Virginia's two starting wideouts. With Smith sitting out Saturday's win over VMI, juniors Matt Snyder and Jared Green were given ample opportunities to vie for larger roles in the offense. Green tallied four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, while Snyder recorded three receptions for 45 yards.

London also mentioned junior Ray Keys and redshirt freshman Kevin Royal as wide receivers who could be tossed deeper into the mix.

"Outside of our first two guys, Inman and Burd, it will be receiver-by-committee, because different guys can do different things," London said. "So we're just going to have to ask em to do what they can do, or do what they're good at doing, and be smart about what we ask them to do."

By Steve Yanda  | September 29, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
 
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