Virginia Coach Mike London Finally Makes Sense on Quarterbacks

Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IOctober 24, 2011

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 09:  Head coach Mike London of the Virginia Cavaliers against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After the debacle better known as the North Carolina State game, Virginia head coach Mike London had to take a look in the mirror and realize the truth.

In the Monday press conference, London finally came to reality and had an epiphany most Cavalier fans have had for some time now.

It appears that throwing in true freshman David Watford sporadically and haphazardly does not qualify as "putting them in a position to be successful".

That is exactly right coach. Twice this season already, quarterback Michael Rocco has been taken out after scoring a touchdown on the previous drive.

Watford's opening drive has been inside his own 20-yard line for nearly every single game. Then the Cavaliers have proceeded to run the ball and not even give the young man a chance to show off his skill sets.

After all, if Watford's role is to be a glorified hand-off specialist, then why not put running backs Kevin Parks or Clifton Richardson under center for first and second down.

Last Saturday's game was not the beginning of people's frustration over coach London's quarterback musical chairs, but it may have been the tipping point.

Rocco was seven-of-nine to open the game throwing the ball. Granted, several of these passes were timid and conservative, but he finally made a couple of nice plays in giving Virginia the opening score of the game.

After Watford came in and was ultimately replaced again by Rocco, the sophomore never completed another pass.

Now, granted, Rocco has to take some ownership of that bad work, but coach London has not put his players "in a position to be successful".

At least now he seems to understand it.

"If it means dialing back some of David's opportunities and allowing Michael to hang in there a little bit longer, then we may have to do that," London said.

You might have to, Coach, since it has been a problem since Week 2. Maybe you promised Watford playing time in the recruiting process, but this mess has to stop.

Right now, Virginia seems stuck in the quagmire of 2001, when coach Al Groh could not pick between the mobile Bryson Spinner and the accurate Matt Schaub.

Schaub eventually won out, Spinner transferred and the program blossomed. Schaub became the ACC Offensive Player of the Year in 2003 and Virginia achieved success it has not attained since.

Quarterbacks cannot succeed, particularly young ones, if they are always looking over their shoulders.

Even offensive coordinator Bill Lazor appeared upset with the situation after Saturday.

It may have taken London a long time to realize that he needs to stick with one, but it seems like he finally got it.

"Instead of series, we may be thinking plays for [Watford]," London said.

Oh really, you mean like I suggested nearly two months ago or again here?

Coach London made some enemies with his mishandling of the quarterback situation but all is not lost, Virginia can still make a bowl game if they move forward with one and use one every now and then for one play to confuse the defense.

It is time for a Watford package like the Tim Tebow package his first year at Florida.

If London can stay decisive, Virginia can still pull victory from the jaws of defeat in 2011.