No QB Starter, But What Did We See?

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Marc Verica

Nearly a week has passed since Virginia held its annual Spring Football Festival with a dizzying scrimmage full of passing and catching. Shoot, it may as well have been a 7-on-7 summer scrimmage with the numbers that came spinning out of Scott Stadium last Saturday. 358 yards? 3 touchdowns? 42 of 70? Gee whiz.

So what, if anything, does such a Tecmo display tell us about the quarterbacks and the leader in the clubhouse? Not much according to UVa coach Al Groh, who says the three are on even footing in the race to be the 2008 starter.

“I saw pretty much the same thing out of all three of them,” Groh said after the spring scrimmage. “They made good decisions, they ran their team well; they made good decisions with what was in front of them. Each one of them made some throws up the field that have to be made. I thought they were all pretty much in the same circumstance. If you look at the numbers, you can’t get the picture on that in the spring game. You don’t know what line they were in with, you don’t know what receivers they had in there – if you try to form any conclusions based on that, you’re fooling yourself.”

In other words, Groh is saying don’t break out the anointing oils just yet. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Comparing the numbers, Scott Deke had the best day: 17 of 23, 73.9% completions, 160 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Marc Verica checked in second: 17 of 25, 68.0% completions, 110 yards, 1 touchdown. Peter Lalich was next: 6 of 18, 33.3% completions, 72 yards, 3 interceptions. Groh, from a more serious standpoint, is saying the statistics don’t tell the entire story. And he’s right.

After all, many of Deke’s numbers came while working with the first string offensive players thanks to being the winner of the closest-to-the-number carnival game (Groh said the QB order was decided by the ‘pick a number’ game). That meant