Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Virginia QB David Watford practices with the team. Cavs coach Mike London could announce his pick for starter at quarterback as soon as Monday.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE - An announcement on Virginia's season-opening quarterback could come as early as Monday, according to head coach Mike London.
The Cavaliers practiced in pads for the first time Friday. It was the last UVa practice that will be open to the media and will be followed by a closed scrimmage today.
Sophomore David Watford was with the first-team offense Friday, as he has been since the start of spring drills.
Redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert was with the second offense.
"I think [today's scrimmage] will be the last little piece of an evaluation," London said. "As you look at it, we'll have less than three weeks till our first game."
The Cavaliers open the season Aug. 31 against Brigham Young at Scott Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
"I think David has gotten much more comfortable with the offense," London said. "During summer, when you have your seven-on-seven captains' practices, there's no schemes, nobody throwing things at you that cause any issues.
"The first couple days, accuracy was a little bit of an issue. As we've played football, as he's seen the different looks, he's gotten better at it. And, also, he can run the ball, which is an added dimension for us.
"He's improving and we've got a couple more weeks to make sure he improves to the maximum."
There has been some discussion of UVa trying the "pistol," an offensive formation in which the quarterback takes a shotgun snap with a running back directly behind him.
Running backs coach Larry Lewis has a background in the pistol, but wouldn't say whether he had discussed that possibility with offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild.
"I'd have to kill you," Lewis told a reporter.
The pistol is seen as one of the ways to maximize a quarterback's running ability.
"That's part of the arsenal," London said. "We've explored a lot of things."
When asked where some of the other important battles for playing time are taking place, London did not name a single starting position.
He said there is a need for a fourth dependable cornerback behind Tra Nicholson, DreQuan Hoskey and Maurice Canady. Also he'd like to settle on a fourth linebacker behind Henry Coley, Demeitre Brim and Daquan Romero, as well
as help at defensive tackle behind Brent Urban and David Dean.
A couple of scholarship defensive backs, sophomore Kyrrel Latimer and redshirt freshman C.J. Moore, apparently are tending to some administrative matters and were not on a list of the 105 players who reported for the start of preseason practice.
Fifth-year offensive guard Sean Cascarano, who started all 11 of Virginia's games last season, showed up for practice on crutches and also is not listed on the 105-man roster, which is subject to change.
It has become increasingly unlikely that Cascarano will play this year, but Conner Davis, who started 11 games at the other guard spot last year, is slated to take over at right guard after offseason surgery on a knee and shoulder.
Talk of camp
Even the coaches are raving about Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back from Bayside High School in Virginia Beach. Mizzell, the Cavaliers' top-rated 2013 signee, frequently darted away from defenders Friday.
"The Buffalo Bills didn't have their Electric Company till they got the Juice," said offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim in a reference to Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson.
Wachenheim said that Mizzell was "unlike" any back who has entered the program in his four seasons as an assistant.
Junior tight end Jake McGee, who had game-winning touchdown grabs last year against Penn State and Miami, remained in street clothes as a precautionary measure. McGee sustained a shoulder "stinger" earlier in the week.
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.