Kevin McCabe To Transfer
McCabe wound up starting the subsequent contest against Western Michigan and continued to move the ball better than anyone else had to date. It wasn't even close. Problem is, he decided to score touchdowns for both teams, as he threw two picks that the Broncos returned for six. Groh threw Olsen back in and the offense proceeded to stall miserably. Finally, an over-his-head Sewell couldn't do much better, and UVA was embarrassed on their own Homecoming (yes, WMU went to a bowl, but just think what would happen if that stuff went down at your school).
Groh had try to sell 2006 as a "rebuilding year," and fans had a choice: either believe him and allow Sewell to develop on the job or rue the fact that Kevin McCabe might have thrown a few more INT's, but he probably represented UVA's best chance at winning now. Let's not forget that Virginia remained one game shy of bowl eligibility; I don't think I can really agree with my previous assertion that making the MPC Computers Bowl is never a pleasant surprise (even if Virginia couldn't have gone there to begin with). At the very least, it's more Virginia football, and although it was painful to watch at times, c'mon...it's still a good way to kill three hours.
Let's not mince words; although I have no way of knowing both sides of the story, it's going to take a quantum leap by Sewell in order to prove Groh's handling of the quarterback situation something other than a horrible failure. Sewell may have showed signs of life in Scott Stadium, but his throwing is still erratic and there's still no indication from the coaching staff that the offense will be tailored to his strengths. And it's tough to pin all the blame on one guy, but UVA was waxed on the road every time, with the exception of the Duke game.
More immediately, it leaves Virginia woefully thin under center. Glimmers of optimistic thinking have occasionally popped up amongst the UVA faithful, but what happens if Sewell, a QB that's been known to tuck and run, gets hurt? The Hoos lose their leading rusher (albeit a glorified fullback), and the receiving corps doesn't appear to be getting any faster. It's one thing to give the keys to Sewell so easy in his career, but during the latter part of the season, garbage time snaps were being given to Christian Olsen instead of someone who could benefit from them. With McCabe out of the picture, the most likely candidates for backup are bundles of mystery Scott Deke and Marc Verica, assuming Vic Hall doesn't get any more love. Leave Peter Lalich out of this; if Sewell's really the man, no need to waste a year of eligibility by burning the redshirt.
Moreover, I'm uncertain what message this sends to recruits, because this isn't the first time that a highly-touted Cavalier has been sent to the doghouse as little more than face-spiting nose-cutting (see: Anthony Gonzalez, Michael Johnson, Vince Redd). It's hard not to wish McCabe the best of luck, since he's going to fulfill his degree requirements at UVA, and it's clear he had no football future left in Charlottesville. Jameel, don't screw this up.