UVA Spring Football Game
The Virginia Cavaliers showcased their football team for the upcoming 2011 season this afternoon. Sleet and rain consumed the conclusion of the men’s lacrosse game, but the spring game came with sun and ideal playing conditions.
The Blue team defeated the Orange team 17-7 in the new spring game format. Head Coach Mike London chose to forgo the typical informal scrimmage, and instead implemented a more realistic format with ten minute quarters in order to give young players a chance to feel out a real game.
The minimal amount of offense can be attributed partially due to the field’s conditions and the chemistry considered a work in progress. Three of the four quarterbacks were picked off at least once. In order to level the playing field though, London decided to switch the quarterbacks on the teams to see how they would fare behind a different line and set of offensive weapons. In addition, London would often perch himself 20 or so yards behind the offensive line of scrimmage. He felt that this would allow him to evaluate the quarterbacks in a non-statistical manner. He wanted to differentiate between a composed field general, and one that looked like a “deer in the headlights.” And if there is any indication of who is the frontrunner, Michael Rocco attempted 22 passes – 8 more than any of the other three candidates.
Despite the lack of offense, one surprising bright spot for the Hoos was tailback Khalek Sheperd who showed bursts of speed and quickness on offense and as a kick returner. At this point, the running back situation seems rather murky. Similar to the previous season, it would seem that there will be a competition between Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, and Khalek Sheperd for playing time.
If there is something that Wahoo fans have to look forward to this fall, it is undoubtedly the senior laden defensive unit anchored by Rodney McLeod and Chase Minnifield. After being gashed multiple times by opposing rushers last year, the Cavaliers have indeed decided to transition to the 4-3 defensive scheme.
The offensive captain for the upcoming season will be Perry Jones, and the defensive captain will be Rodney McLeod. In addition to being named captain, McLeod, as well as offensive guard Austin Pasztor, gained recognition as the most improved players during the spring. Other notable accolades were awarded to Morgan Moses, Will Hill, Luke Bowanko, and Matt Snyder.
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