Virginia Coach Mike London said Monday that true freshman David Watford has not yet reached the point in his development where he can be the Cavaliers’ every-down quarterback. However, London also noted he plans to offer Watford opportunities to play more often in games as the 2011 season progresses.
Sophomore Michael Rocco remains Virginia’s starting quarterback. Whether that remains the case through the Cavaliers’ final seven games appears at this point to be an unsettled issue.
“Right now, Mike has put himself in position to be the guy, but David’s breathing down his neck,” London said.
At the season’s outset, Rocco played nearly the entire game, and Watford subbed in for a few plays at a time. Then Watford progressed to operating the Virginia offense for an entire series. And in recent weeks, Watford has seen extensive playing time, particularly in the second halves of games.
Rocco, meantime, has been dealing with a rib injury he suffered late in the second half of Virginia’s 30-24 loss Sept. 24 to Southern Mississippi. Rocco played sparingly in the fourth quarter of Virginia’s 21-20 overtime victory Oct. 1 over Idaho and did not play at all in the extra period.
Rather, it was Watford who conducted a six-play drive in overtime that concluded with a 27-yard touchdown pass to true freshman wide receiver Dominique Terrell.
On the season, Rocco has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 1,032 yards, two touchdowns and seven interceptions. Watford has completed 50 percent of his passes for 240 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“We’ll try to always script the series as far as when guys are going in,” London said. “But as the game goes on, see how the games go. It’s one of those things that sometimes the game is a feel. Sometimes it’s based on the plan that you have. I’d like to give David more opportunities, but at the same time … where is David’s learning curve starting to catch up for him to be the every-down, go-into-game-type of quarterback. Well, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet.”