Marc Verica rebounds from sour outing against North Carolina
This time a week ago, Virginia Coach Mike London was having to answer questions about who his starting quarterback would be come Saturday. Fifth-year senior Marc Verica had thrown three interceptions in a 34-point loss to North Carolina, and it appeared the time might have come for redshirt freshman Ross Metheny or true freshman Michael Rocco to get a crack at leading the Cavaliers offense.
But London stuck with Verica, and in a 48-21 victory Saturday over Eastern Michigan, the veteran quarterback turned in a solid performance. Verica completed 18 of 31 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. He has thrown for more than 200 yards in five of seven games this season.
"That's the thing about a fifth-year senior quarterback, you know, being through good times and bad times," London said. "He understands that part of it is going through the bad times and hearing the criticism and the boos and things like that. Part of being a mature fifth-year guy is you understand that you're just always a game away or a throw away from righting your own particular ship, from just playing the way that you're capable of playing.
"And that's what he did. He wasn't worried about what people were saying or what he wasn't doing. He just followed the game plan ... And now, if you talk to him, he's probably satisfied with his performance, but he wants to get better. And that's what you want in a fifth-year quarterback. That's the difference, sometimes, between a guy that you have like that and young quarterbacks that you try to bring along. Sometimes you can just ruin a young quarterback by having a tough day because he can't handle all those things that a veteran would."
Speaking of young quarterbacks, Rocco and Metheny each saw some action near the end of Saturday's game. Rocco came in during Virginia's penultimate possession of the game. He ran the offense for five plays and completed 1 of 2 passes for 11 yards. The drive concluded with a 31-yard field goal by Robert Randolph.
Metheny was under center for the Cavaliers final drive, which consisted of one play -- a handoff to redshirt sophomore tailback Torrey Mack for two yards.
| October 25, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
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