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Lazor 'didn't consider' replacing Verica late against Georgia Tech

Following Virginia's 33-21 loss Saturday at Georgia Tech, Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor said that at no point during the game did he contemplate replacing fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica -- the team's starter from the outset of the season -- with either redshirt freshman Ross Metheny or true freshman Michael Rocco.

There were a few times during the fourth quarter when it would have been hard to blame Lazor and Coach Mike London if they had elected to insert either Metheny or Rocco into the game to get them more experience. Trailing 33-14, Virginia started a drive at its own 34 yard-line with 4 minutes, 42 seconds remaining in the game. The Cavaliers next drive began at their own 2 yard-line, so perhaps it would have been a little cruel to throw either backup into that situation, especially if it would have been either's first snap of the game.

On the latter drive, Verica led Virginia down the field, where tailback Keith Payne eventually scored on a one-yard touchdown run. The Cavaliers used nine plays to go 98 yards in 1 minute, 34 seconds. Verica finished with 239 yards on 18 for 31 passing.

"I didn’t consider it, personally, because I just think as a team with where we’re going, we need to improve, and Marc’s a big part of that," Lazor said of putting Metheny or Rocco into the game in the fourth quarter. Verica "needs to keep playing, and he needs to get better, just like everyone does. He’s our leader offensively, so to take him away, I think, in my opinion, would have been the wrong thing to do. I honestly didn’t consider it."

Metheny conducted Virginia's final offensive series during a 34-14 loss Oct. 2 against Florida State. London said afterward that had the Cavaliers gotten the ball back one more time, Rocco would have gotten a turn to lead the team's offense, as well. Rocco burned his redshirt during a 48-7 win Sept. 25 against 1-AA Virginia Military Institute.

By Steve Yanda  | October 10, 2010; 8:06 AM ET
 
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