Originally written on Lambeth Field  |  Last updated 7/11/12

Oh, you know football is right around the corner!

The biggest question that needed to be answered before Fall Practices started in August was the status of transfer QB Phillip Sims. Well just a few hours ago, the NCAA handed down  their ruling in favor of Sims. This means two things: (1) that Sims can play in the 2012 football season and (2) he will have 3 years of eligibility remaining.

So the question now becomes what to do with the quarterback situation. There are 5 scholarship QBs that will be on the roster come the Richmond game: RJr. Rocco, RSo, Sims, So. Watford, Fr. Lambert, and Fr. Johns. Unless one of the freshmen can crack the top 2, which is highly unlikely, both Lambert and Johns will redshirt. Watford could redshirt this year, but it seems that London could utilize him in a backup role or ‘wildcat’ role. So that leaves the incumbent Rocco and the fomer 5* recruit from Oscar Smith Sims.

Each quarterback has an ‘ace-in-the-hole’ come August. Rocco has the confidence and experience in Lazor’s system to manage this team. Last year, he was 222/366 for 2671 yards (60.7%), 13 TD, 12 INTs in 13 starts. The Miami game late in October was the turning point of his season and had an amazing 4 game stretch that saw UVa win at Miami, Maryland, and Florida State. Sims comes in with a ton of potential, that was never utilized at Alabama. He ended up 18/28 for 163 yards (64.3%), 0 TD, 2 INTs in 5 appearances, and most saw the field in routes.

To throw a wrench in the cogs this year, Lazor is already working on tweaking his system again this year. No doubt it will feature the OL and running backs, but this year should throw in some sets for the TEs, including using them out of the backfield, as there is no true FB on the roster. If Sims can show his skill set in these packages, he could close the knowledge gap. The other big X-factor is the early schedule and the fan base. As you know, after the Richmond game, the Hoos get Penn State, @GT, @TCU, and Louisiana Tech. What if Rocco gets the start against Richmond, then struggles down that 4 game stretch? What does London do?

So what is our hunch? Even though Mike London has stated that it is still Rocco’s team, this should be viewed as open competition. I have not seen Sims in action, so I will stay with Rocco until something really stands out with Sims this fall.

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