Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

April 12, 2014

Quarterbacks, offense struggle in Virginia’s spring game

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Greyson Lambert’s time appears to have arrived as Virginia’s quarterback.

The redshirt sophomore, while not named the starter, threw the only two touchdown passes on a tough day for Virginia’s injury-depleted offense in the annual spring game, and also had a great halftime. It was then he was announced as one of the Cavaliers’ four captains as voted on by his teammates.

There’s still evaluating to do, coach Mike London said Saturday of the outcome of Lambert’s battle for the quarterback job against incumbent David Watford and Matt Johns, but London also placed Lambert on his 13-team leadership council while Watford’s name was conspicuously not included on the list.

“We’ll make that decision early. We’ll make that decision soon,” London said of the quarterback position, adding that he chooses the leadership council members based on their play on the field, their work in the classroom and community, and that Watford had fallen short of expectations in some way.

Watford declined to reveal what he’d done to incur his coach’s ire.

Lambert finished 18 for 31 for 220 yards with two interceptions and a sack in the scrimmage. His touchdown passes covered 22 yards to Andrew Levrone, a pass that was underthrown, forcing Levrone to wrestle it away from a defensive back, and 16 yards to Kyle Dockins, who split two defenders at the goal line.

The drive was necessary for everyone, even the defense, linebacker Henry Coley said.

“You just don’t want all three-and-outs, three-and-outs all the time. That’s makes it easy,” Coley said. “At the end of the day, we’re all still a team, and if the offense is progressing, then we’re progressing as a team and that’s what we want.”

The key to that, it would seem, is Lambert, who said he put too much pressure on himself last year trying not to fail instead of trying to succeed.

“Coming in this year, he had a lot more confidence,” Levrone said of Lambert. “Even when the coaches would say something to him, he wouldn’t lose his head. He’d be good. He knew what he had to do and what the mission was and he’d be ready to get back out there and accomplish it.”

The Cavaliers split the team into Orange (offense) and Blue (defense) because of injuries, mostly on the offensive line, and the defense dominated. It registered four interceptions and nine sacks under the liberal rules that considered it a sack each time the quarterback was touched with the ball in his hands.

Watford finished 4 for 14 for 31 yards with two interceptions and three sacks; Johns was 6 for 19 for 43 yards, also with three sacks.

Ian Frye kicked a pair of field goals, including a 48-yarder, and Alec Vozenilek missed a 54-yard attempt.

Five offensive linemen, top tailback Kevin Parks and top receiver Jake McGee, all sat out with injuries.

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