The answer: none

On the Sidelines column by Chris Graham
sportsdom@ntelos.net

Remember back when Al Groh had no quarterback worries? It hasn’t been that long ago. Matt Schaub was throwing darts and completing 70 percent of them. Marques Hagans was leading the ‘Hoos to 42 points in a half against UNC.

Actually, that seems like forever ago now. Post-Hagans has been the Era of Uncertainty in Charlottesville, with the Christian Olsen Experiment giving way to Kevin McCabe and Jameel Sewell, and then to whatever we have now in Grohville with Peter Lalich, Marc Verica and Scott Deke providing a new twist on the old saw about how many quarterbacks you have when you have not two, but three.

“Good progress. I mean, that’s about it,” Groh told reporters at Media Day on Sunday after being asked what he has seen to date from his three top signal-callers, none of whom have started a game since high school.

“They’re all working hard, they’re all progressing. As I’ve said on a couple of occasions, we’re not keeping a daily scorecard on them. We’re looking at the body of work, and giving everybody plenty of opportunity to show us how the club will best operate,” Groh said.

Which is to say, Groh is no closer to naming a starting quarterback than he was in the spring, when it seemed a given that the highly recruited Lalich, who played in eight games and threw for 321 yards in limited action as a true freshman, was going to be the anointed one. But Lalich struggled in the spring training camp, while Deke, who had been headed to the real world following graduation before being persuaded to come back as a fifth-year senior, and Verica shone, at least comparatively.

It’s been Deke who has been taking the initial first-team snaps in practice recently, though Groh has made it clear that he has been given that honor due to his seniority in the program.

Groh was asked at Media Day if he wanted to have a starter by the end of this week or early next week to give the team a chance to gel around a #1 guy and give that QB a chance to get accustomed to the idea that he would be leading the team into its Aug. 30 opener against Southern Cal.

“If it’s that apparent, sure. But the most important thing is for the team to have the right quarterback in there,” Groh said. “And as I’ve said on a couple of other occasions, that’s really only proven with quarterbacks when they play in a game. And we don’t have any games to play. So it might take some games to find out exactly who the one quarterback is or who the two are that we should plan on playing, however that works itself out. It may take a few games to find that out.”

For UVa. fans who have been dying with their team since the end of the Schaub-Hagans run at quarterback, that’s evoking too much in the way of the Christian Olsen Experiment for any measurable comfort level.


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