By Tommy Keeler Jr.
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Ross Metheny waited patiently Saturday.
He put on his helmet and waited some more as VMI completed a first down midway through the third quarter. Finally Virginia stopped VMI and forced a punt.
The moment Metheny, a 2009 Sherando High School graduate, had been waiting for the last two years finally happened. The University of Virginia quarterback took the field with 6:49 left in the third quarter. It was his first time playing in a game since midway through his senior season at Sherando in 2008.
"It's been a while since I played," Metheny said. "Getting into a live-game situation was definitely something I've been looking forward to. Obviously it was late in the game, but you're still playing college football.
"It was a great experience and a lot of fun. And an experience I'll never forget."
His first drive as a Cavalier quarterback was short-lived as running back Keith Payne fumbled on the second play from scrimmage.
However, Metheny and his teammates made up for it on their next possession. The Cavaliers started at their own 39, and on the first play Metheny connected with Jared Green for his first college completion and a gain of 19 yards.
Seven plays later on third-and-10, Metheny once again found Green open on a slant route. Green raced toward the end zone and reached the ball over the goal line as he was being tackled for the touchdown.
Metheny quickly ran to Green to celebrate and pumped his first several times after throwing the first touchdown pass of his college career.
"It was a lot of fun," Metheny said. "It was a lot of emotion there, a lot of excitement. I had my patented fist pump from the Sherando days working. It was great. All I had to do was get him the ball and he did the rest. It was great to finally get the first touchdown."
Metheny said the coaching staff had told him earlier in the week that he would probably play along with teammate Michael Rocco. The two split playing time at quarterback in the second half with Virginia well ahead.
Metheny, a redshirt-freshman, and Rocco, a true freshman, have been back-and-forth battling for the No. 2 spot all season according to Virginia coach Mike London.
London said he will continue to evaluate both of them and if one emerges they would be the No. 2, but they may also just share the spot for the rest of the season.
"We talked about not having a quarterback that's had any game experience and there wasn't a clear-cut guy over the next guy," London said. "So the next best thing was to put them in a venue, put them in a game and see how they managed the game."
Metheny finished the game 4-for-5 for 53 yards and one touchdown. Metheny said he was happy with his performance Saturday.
"It was positive," Metheny said. "We had the one incomplete pass that could've been a touchdown. You always strive for perfection. So if we would've been perfect that would've been great, but I think we were productive."
Virginia starting senior quarterback Marc Verica said he thought Metheny performed well.
"I think Ross handled himself very well today," Verica said. "He was poised. He was making good decisions. He threw a touchdown pass. I couldn't be happier for him."