Mike London: Marc Verica holds starting QB job 'right now'
Virginia Coach Mike London said Sunday night that fifth-year senior quarterback Marc Verica will hold the starting job entering this week's practices, though he acknowledged it is possible either redshirt freshman Ross Metheny or true freshman Michael Rocco could supplant Verica by the time the Cavaliers square off against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Verica completed 15 of 25 passes for 139 yards and three interceptions during Virginia's 44-10 loss Saturday to North Carolina. He has thrown as many interceptions (six) as he has touchdowns this season.
"That's the plan right now," London said when asked whether Verica would start against Eastern Michigan. "We looked at him, and we looked at Ross Metheny had a chance. He threw one pass, and it was intercepted. We had some issues with him on the snap. Michael Rocco came in, and I think he was 3 for 8. He threw one interception. So it wasn't like anyone came in and did anything outstanding over the others.
"But I think one of the things that we've got to continue to do is watch -- those guys have to prepare and perform in practice. I mean all of 'em, all three of 'em. So we'll go again here Tuesday, and we'll take it day-by-day, as far as who's going to get the significant reps. Marc's going to start out getting the (No. 1) reps (in practice) because he knows the offense the best right now. But obviously those other two guys need to have some sort of separation from the two of them to decide who's going to be the second guy, or perhaps maybe the guy to go in the game."
Metheny replaced Verica during the third quarter against the Tar Heels and led Virginia for two offensive series. He fumbled the snap on his first play in the game and threw an interception at the goal line five plays later. The interception was Metheny's only pass attempt of the game.
Rocco came in at the start of the fourth quarter and also led the Cavaliers on two drives. He completed 3 of 8 passes for 45 yards and an end zone interception of his own.
London said the team's starting quarterback job was not necessarily more open entering this week of practice than it had been at any other point this season.
"As I said before, our starting quarterback threw three interceptions, and then the ones that came in and backed him up, they each threw one, and they were ill-advised throws," London said. "We had handling issues with one. We called a couple formations opposite of what the signal was. So there's issues that all of them have, and the one right now that's best to run the offense is the one that started the game.
"So this week in practice we'll continue to keep evaluating them. Maybe the young guy or the other quarterbacks can make the right calls and eliminate the quarterback-center exchange issues and all that. But for the most part, the guy that's got the most significant reps is the guy that right now is the No. 1 quarterback. And like I said, every day next week is an evaluation day with all of these guys, and that's the way it's got to be."
| October 17, 2010; 7:33 PM ET
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