The Concern Of Mismatching Parts

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Peter Lalich

Ever since the final 10 disastrous minutes of the Gator Bowl, I’ve been left with a nagging concern about the Virginia football team and its near-term future. The misgivings are related to one position: quarterback. Reading JHoo’s QB column this morning only helped the concerns resurface.

The uneasy feelings can be pinpointed with one simple phrase: mismatching parts. What exactly does that mean? Simply put, my concern with the quarterbacks is that the system designed for the starter, Jameel Sewell , does not match the skill set of a single other quarterback on the roster. Thus when Sewell has been unable to finish games – a factor in three of the four losses this season – the back-up quarterback is working out of a less than ideal situation.

Jameel Sewell

Let’s delve a little deeper. When Sewell assumed the reins of the offense last season, shotgun formations, spread sets, and the read option were not a major part of the offense. With Christian Olsen and Kevin McCabe as the two quarterbacks at the top of the depth chart, why would they be? Once Sewell stepped in, things started to shift and as the season moved along, more and more pieces were added to the equation.

Fast forward to 2007 where shotgun, spread sets, and the read option were the base of the offense. The idea, of course, is to take advantage of Sewell’s skills. He can run the football well and his deceptive gait throws off defensive pursuit angles. His ball deception skills make the read option running game particularly effective and play-action passing becomes a weapon as well. The shotgun set also reduces