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Sophomore David Watford named Virginia's starting quarterback


In a decision that's not really a surprise, Virginia coach Mike London announced Monday that sophomore David Watford would be the Cavaliers' starting quarterback in the Aug. 31 opener against BYU.

Game 2 for the Cavs is a visit from Oregon.

Watford (6-feet-2, 200 pounds), a third-year sophomore, beat out redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert (6-5, 220) for the job.

Watford played as a true freshman in 2011 but struggled; he was 30-of-74 as a passer, for 346 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 42 yards. He redshirted last season, when Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims were the starting quarterbacks. Both transferred during the offseason: Rocco to FCS member Richmond and Sims, who began his career at Alabama, to Division II Winston-Salem State.

Watford has better mobility than Lambert, who has the stronger arm.

The Cavs have a solid group of skill-position players on offense, and the line returns three starters, including potential All-ACC tackle Morgan Moses. But there are no proven big-play guys, and adequate quarterback play is a must if the Cavs are to be in bowl contention.

Virginia underwent an offseason shakeup with its offensive staff. Steve Fairchild is the new coordinator; he was an offensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers last season following a four-year run as Colorado State's coach. In addition, former Boston College and North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien was hired as the tight end coach/associate head coach for offense. Fairchild will call plays.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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