NCAA

UVa has two quarterbacks, needs just one

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UVa has two quarterbacks, needs just one

By Steve Roney
CSNwashington.com

At 4-7, Virginia is in a familiar situation: playing for pride and another winter break without a bowl trip.

At the center – or rather, under center – of it all is Michael Rocco, the workmanlike junior quarterback who gives five-star effort. In giving that effort, Rocco takes snaps away from Phillip Sims, perhaps the more talented signal caller.

Excluding tonight’s game against North Carolina, Rocco has started six of UVa’s games, with Sims leading the way for the other four.

Throw out the Richmond and Penn State games, and each quarterback has piloted the Cavaliers to one win – Rocco the thriller over Miami, Sims the beat down of NC State.

Along the way, the two quarterbacks have put up similar statistics, with Rocco’s edging Sims – albeit slightly – across the board: completing 61.5% of his passes to Sims’ 57.5%, accounting for 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions against Sims’ 10 scores (eight passing, two rushing) and 4 picks, for an efficiency rating edge of 132.5 to 124.3.

The real difference between the two is felt on the field; Rocco looks like an overachiever while Sims exudes raw potential and flashes of brilliance.

With another season drawing to a close, and a youth movement in full swing at the other skill positions, which player should take the remainder of Virginia’s snaps?

Recruiting rankings aren’t everything, or even close to it - otherwise, Al Groh would still be in town. However, Sims parlayed his Parade All-American, top-ranked high school quarterback status into a scholarship offer from Nick Saban and Alabama.

At Alabama, Sims acquitted himself well enough to push and share time with A.J. McCarron – who currently has a top-10 quarterback rating and Heisman candidacy. In limited action (eight games), Sims completed 64% of his passes, and spent the balance of his time preparing to take the reins of a National Championship team.

The Cavaliers haven’t had a quarterback with this much raw talent in a decade or more. The saying goes that if your team has two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have one. 

UVa. needs to figure out who that quarterback is. 

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

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USA Today Sports

Cavaliers hold Georgia Tech to 48 points, win comfortably on the road

ATLANTA -- De'Andre Hunter scored 17 points and No. 2 Virginia won its ninth straight game, 64-48 over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

It was another defensive masterpiece by the Cavaliers (17-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who limited Georgia Tech to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.

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Virginia snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-2).

After making the first basket of the game, Georgia Tech quickly got an idea of what kind of night it would be. The Jackets missed their next eight shots and turned it over four times before Josh Okogie finally broke a nearly eight-minute scoreless drought with a dunk off a backdoor pass.

Virginia led 28-19 at halftime, and Georgia Tech never got any closer the rest of the way.

The last gasp for the home team essentially came in the closing seconds of the first half. It looked as though the Jackets would go to the locker room on a bit of a high after Curtis Haywood hit his second 3-pointer of the first half, closing the gap to 24-19.

But Hunter got free in the corner and knocked down a trey with 0.1 seconds left in the half, turning it into a four-point play when Abdoulaye Gueye foolishly went for the block and sent the Virginia player sprawling to the court.

The free throw gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the half.

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They steadily pulled away over the final 20 minutes. Ty Jerome added 12 points, while Devon Hall and Kyle guy had 11 apiece.

Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech with 14 points. No one else was in double figures.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers held an opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season. They came into the night allowing the fewest points of any Division I team, and actually improved on their 52.9 average.

Georgia Tech: Okogie, averaging 18.8 points per game, struggled to get open and finished with just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. Big man Ben Lammers had an even tougher night, hitting just 1 of 5 shots and finishing with four points. It was an especially disappointing performance considering the Yellow Jackets drew their first sellout of the season at 8,600-seat McCamish Pavilion.

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George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

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George Washington tops George Mason in Revolutionary Rivalry

WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- Yuta Watanabe scored 19 points, Terry Nolan Jr. had 18 points, six steals and six assists and George Washington beat George Masson 80-68 Wednesday night in the Revolutionary Rivalry.

Nolan started the scoring with a 3-point play, Watanabe made back-to-back layups and George Washington (9-10, 2-4 Atlantic 10) began with an 11-2 run. The lead swelled to 22-10 before the Patriots reduced the deficit to 29-28 with a 3-pointer from Javon Greene with 4:20 left before halftime. Ian Boyd scored seven points during the 18-7 run. George Washington closed out the half with a 15-7 run and led 44-29 at the break.

Jaire Grayer and Greg Calixte made back-to-back jumpers and the Patriots closed to 56-48, Goanar Mar had a 3 to make 68-60, but the Colonials led by double figures most of the second half.

Bo Zeigler scored 18 and missed just 2 of 11 shot attempts and Jair Bolden scored 16 for George Washington.

Mar led George Mason (9-10, 3-3) with 17 points, Justin Kier 13, Grayer 11 and Boyd had 10. The Patriots fell to 0-9 against George Washington since joining the conference.