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Virginia’s Mike London casts lot with Michael Rocco at QB

- - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Michael Rocco has been sharing time at quarterback all season with true freshman David Watford.

Now, at perhaps the season's most crucial moment, Rocco has the spotlight all to himself at Virginia.

Cavaliers coach Mike London said earlier this week that Rocco will be the No. 1 quarterback for the entire game against Miami Thursday, a decision that London said was based in part upon practicality. Rocco's experience, London said, gives the Cavaliers their best opportunity to pick up more wins in the second half of the season.

At 4-3, the Wahoos have a shot at getting to a bowl game, which has led the staff to put Watford's development on the back burner for the time being.

"We are going down the stretch, we are going down the second half of the season, and we want to provide a measure of success for each guy," London said.

The bigger question is how all this affects Watford, who will still be brought in for the occasional gimmick play. All season there has been speculation about him running a Wildcat offense. It hasn't happened yet, but perhaps London is waiting for a high-profile opportunity.

Watford also is still one injury away from being the starter, and perhaps a year away from taking over the job through competition.

London said he understands fans are eager to see Watford "because he's dynamic and he shows the flashes" of tantalizing ability. "But sometimes you say it might not be in his best interest" to be thrust into the fire of competition.

"I think he's at peace with that, to be honest with you."

London told reporters they'd have to chat with Watford to confirm his feelings on the matter.

• Read Michael Phillips' blog at www.mytimesdispatch.com