QB's center of attention in Cavaliers' spring game

QB's center of attention in Cavaliers' spring game
April 2, 2011, 8:31 pm
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Saturday, April 2, 2011 4:30 p. m.
By Rich Tandler Staff Writer
CSNwashington.comCHARLOTTESVILLEOn a chilly afternoon, the Virginia Cavaliers became one of the first teams in the nation to hold their spring football game. On Saturday, the Blue team beat the Orange team 17-7 at Scott Stadium.Last years spring game, the first under coach Mike London, was more of a controlled scrimmage. This one resembled a regular game kickoffs, punts, and the teams running actual offensive series
All eyes were on four players wearing red jerseys, the quarterbacks.The quartet vying for the quarterback position are true freshman David Watford, redshirt freshman Michael Strauss and sophomores Michael Rocco and Ross Metheny. They are presented here in no particular order because there really is no depth chart. The four all are getting an equal shot at the job vacated by the graduation of last years starter, Marc Verica.Strauss and Watford played for the Blue team while Rocco and Metheny took snaps for the Orange.Some of the plays that entertained the crowd of a couple of thousand:--Cornerback Chase Minnfield intercepted Rocco on the first series.--Safety Corey Mosley made a nice stick to stop tailback Perry Jones in his tracks after a reception over the middle.--A deep toss from Rocco to receiver E. J. Scott gained 35 yards. Rocco showed nice touch on the ball and Scott adjust to it well.--Jones went airborne into the end zone to complete a 15-yard scoring play after taking a short swing pass from Rocco.--Khalek Shepherd with a 44-yard runback of the second-half kickoff. He found a wall and zoomed down the right side.--Metheny dropped a nice pass over a few defenders and into the hands of E. J. Scott for a gain of 45 yards.--Dom Joseph with a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown. Strauss threw to the left sideline and never saw Joseph, who cruised in for the score with only a brief challenge from Strauss.--Tight end Zach Swanson made a nice grab of a Strauss pass over the middle and rolled for 33 yards.--Rocco with a five-yard touchdown pass to wide open receiver Brendan Morgan.
The quarterbacks were hampered by the fact that three returning wide receivers who are expected to be the main pass catchers this year were sidelined with injuries. Matt Snyder (toe), Kris Burd(foot), and Tim Smith (foot) were spectators, leaving some players who will be fighting for positions on the depth chart in the fall lining up at the wide receiver spot.Virginia is returning 9 starters on defense, but three of them were not participating today. End Cam Johnson (shoulder) is injured and linebacker Ausar Walcott and cornerback Devin Wallace are on suspension.At halftime, the 2011 team captains were announced. The are running back Perry Jones, wide receiver Matt Snyder, safety Rodney McLeod and defensive tackle Nick Jenkins.In general, the Blue team had the first-team offense and second defense and it was vice versa for the Orange.