Virginia quarterback Phillip Sims may not have provided the spark Cavaliers’ fans were hoping for, but he’s not losing his starting job yet.
Though junior Michael Rocco entered Saturday’s 27-20 loss to Maryland in the fourth quarter and promptly led Virginia on a touchdown drive, Coach Mike London said Sunday night that there would be no quarterback change this week.
Instead, Sims will receive his third straight start when the Cavaliers try to break a five-game losing streak against Wake Forest Saturday.
London is looking for improved accuracy from Sims, who finished 13 of 28 for 139 yards, with one touchdown, one interception and a late fumble that set up a Maryland field goal.
“We know about the big arm,” London told reporters on his weekly teleconference, “but we also want to get the completions.”.
Sims has appeared in every game this season. Saturday was just his second career start after he transferred to Virginia from Alabama during the offseason. But it was Rocco leading the offense in the fourth quarter , when the Cavaliers had a chance to win the game late. He finished the day 5 of 11 for 79 yards, with a touchdown pass to tight end Jake McGee.
It just served as further confirmation that Virginia’s problems are much deeper than quarterback play. The Cavaliers are currently in the midst of the longest losing skid since London took over the program in 2010.
But the coach would like to see more consistency from Sims now that he’s being given an extended tryout as the team’s starting quarterback.
“There is a difference in starting and managing the game, first quarter, second quarter, all those opportunities,” London said. “This is something we’ve got to get better at in order to take his game to another level.”