Thursday, September 20, 2012

Players to Watch Game 3: Virginia Cavaliers

To be fair that's UVA Lacrosse, but I didn't get to hate this week, so this will have to do.

Fresh off their 56-20 pounding handed to them by Georgia Tech, the 2-1 Virginia Cavaliers come to Fort Worth for another bright and early Saturday morning start.  I'll be in the parking lot drinking early, but truth be told I might just start drinking now (Wednesday as I type this) and not stop until the end of the fall after having my heart torn out by Waymon James's knee.  Anyways, UVA will be here as well as a few hundred wannabe SEC frat-tastic fans, and that should make for a pretty enjoyable Saturday.  But let's see what UVA has to offer from a football standpoint.  

Offense:  QB #16 Michael Rocco (6'3, 225 Jr.) and QB #14 Phillip Sims (6'2, 215 Soph.)

Will Sims see more action on Saturday?

Does UVA have a quarterback controversy?  I don't really think so or at least I haven't heard anything of the sort, but Sims, the highly touted Alabama transfer, has seen playing time in all 3 games so far this year and was able to get the Cavaliers in the endzone twice last week while they were getting pasted by Georgia Tech.  I guess Phillip Sims (not to be confused with Phil Simms, in fact they are very, very different) saw the writing on the wall in Tuscaloosa and realized that he was not going to unseat national title winning QB A.J. McCarron, so he headed on to UVA.  Many thought Sims would win the job outright this fall, but that wasn't the case and the reigns were handed to Michael Rocco.  Rocco has not been too impressive thus far this fall (712 yards, 4 TD's, 3 INT's, 3 rushing yards), and the talented Sims is lurking in the background.  Sims is 13-17 for 111 yards, 2 TD's and 0 INT's on the season.  Understandably the sample size is small, but when you struggle to put points on the board against Penn State who is fielding a JV squad and struggle mightily against an average Georgia Tech team (all ACC teams are just "average" in my book), then there might be some reason to look for playmakers elsewhere.  If you see Rocco struggle to move the ball early, don't be surprised to see Sims get the nod at least for a few series to see if he can make anything happen.  If nothing else, it would be a change of pace for the UVA offense.  

Defense:  LB #53 Steve Greer (6'2, 230 Sr.)

Yes, that's Steve Greer, and that is a serious case of Dumbface.

When looking for a player to watch defensively, I usually check to see if anyone stands out causing turnovers first.  Apparently that's not a priority at UVA since I see that they've forced 1 turnover this year through 3 games.  Yikes.  So that's not a good barometer.  However, Greer statistically reminds me a little bit of last week's defensive player to watch, Toben Opurum, and Opurum gave Pachall fits all day, especially when he stripped his TD run from him.  So if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Greer seems to have a knack for getting into the opposing backfield as well, accounting for 3.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks on the young season, equaling his 2011 total already.  He's also 2nd on the team in tackles with 24.  Finishing 2nd team all-ACC last year, he led the team with 101 tackles but missed the Peach Bowl with what they call a "lower extremity injury".  I think it's called Chlamydia, Steve.  I think last week our OL was exploited a little bit and I know we'd all like to see some improvement from what we saw.  I'd say a key to doing so is finding #53 and putting a hat on him every play.  

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