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Virginia QB Verica rebounds vs. Terps

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — If Marc Verica can have a game like he did against Maryland after spending a week down in the dumps over his nightmarish second start as Virginia’s quarterback, what might he accomplish now that his confidence is soaring?
That’s one of the questions swirling around the enigmatic Cavaliers — lopsided losers to hapless Duke and dominant winners over heavily favored Maryland — at the midpoint of a season that suddenly has a glimmer of promise.
Next up for Virginia (2-3) is East Carolina, which knocked off two ranked teams to rise as high as No. 14 before losing two in a row to drop out of the rankings. As the Pirates (3-2) review film of Virginia’s last two games, they’re bound to wonder whether the guy in the No. 6 jersey who accounted for three touchdowns in Saturday’s 31-0 blowout of Maryland is the really the same QB who threw four interceptions against Duke the week before.
‘‘It was extremely uplifting for my confidence,’’ Verica said Tuesday of his near-flawless performance against Maryland: 25-of-34 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns, one TD rushing and no turnovers.
Verica admitted that his abysmal performance against Duke was hard to forget as he prepared for the Terrapins.
‘‘Any time you play that poorly, until you get out there the next Saturday it’s hard to put that behind you,’’ Verica said. ‘‘During the week it was wearing on me a little.’’
The goal now, Verica said — for him individually and for the team — is to build on Saturday’s success.
‘‘Hopefully we can play like that every week,’’ Verica said.
One of the beneficiaries of Verica’s ability to bounce back is wideout Kevin Ogletree. In a departure from the Cavaliers’ usual dink-and-dunk passing game, Verica heaved a 51-yard touchdown pass — Virginia’s first of the season — to Ogletree late in the first quarter.
‘‘He’s got a strong arm,’’ Ogletree said.
Verica wasn’t supposed to be the quarterback throwing to Ogletree this season, but returning starter Jameel Sewell was lost to academic issues and his replacement, Peter Lalich, was kicked off the team after an underage drinking arrest. Verica got the nod over fifth-year senior Scott Deke.
‘‘We just have to keep working on that timing, working on the little things that can make us an explosive unit,’’ said Ogletree, who leads the Cavaliers with 27 catches for 318 yards.
As good Verica was Saturday, Ogletree said, ‘‘I know Marc’s best days are ahead of him.’’
Other players shared a similarly cheery outlook Tuesday, in stark contrast to the gloom that hung over the team last week.
‘‘Morale is really high now,’’ said safety Byron Glaspy.
But he and fellow senior Clint Sintim have seen enough ups and downs in their careers to know they can’t let the euphoria distract them from continuing to improve — a message they will help coach Al Groh impart to their younger teammates.

‘‘Don’t let that game be the signature mark for the season, but build on it,’’ Sintim said. ‘‘We have a long list of games, a lot more competition.’’

AP-ES-10-07-08 2026EDT

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Virginia QB Verica rebounds vs. Terps

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — If Marc Verica can have a game like he did against Maryland after spending a week down in the dumps over his nightmarish second start as Virginia’s quarterback, what might he accomplish now that his confidence is soaring?
That’s one of the questions swirling around the enigmatic Cavaliers — lopsided losers to hapless Duke and dominant winners over heavily favored Maryland — at the midpoint of a season that suddenly has a glimmer of promise.
Next up for Virginia (2-3) is East Carolina, which knocked off two ranked teams to rise as high as No. 14 before losing two in a row to drop out of the rankings. As the Pirates (3-2) review film of Virginia’s last two games, they’re bound to wonder whether the guy in the No. 6 jersey who accounted for three touchdowns in Saturday’s 31-0 blowout of Maryland is the really the same QB who threw four interceptions against Duke the week before.
‘‘It was extremely uplifting for my confidence,’’ Verica said Tuesday of his near-flawless performance against Maryland: 25-of-34 passing for 226 yards and two touchdowns, one TD rushing and no turnovers.
Verica admitted that his abysmal performance against Duke was hard to forget as he prepared for the Terrapins.
‘‘Any time you play that poorly, until you get out there the next Saturday it’s hard to put that behind you,’’ Verica said. ‘‘During the week it was wearing on me a little.’’
The goal now, Verica said — for him individually and for the team — is to build on Saturday’s success.
‘‘Hopefully we can play like that every week,’’ Verica said.
One of the beneficiaries of Verica’s ability to bounce back is wideout Kevin Ogletree. In a departure from the Cavaliers’ usual dink-and-dunk passing game, Verica heaved a 51-yard touchdown pass — Virginia’s first of the season — to Ogletree late in the first quarter.
‘‘He’s got a strong arm,’’ Ogletree said.
Verica wasn’t supposed to be the quarterback throwing to Ogletree this season, but returning starter Jameel Sewell was lost to academic issues and his replacement, Peter Lalich, was kicked off the team after an underage drinking arrest. Verica got the nod over fifth-year senior Scott Deke.
‘‘We just have to keep working on that timing, working on the little things that can make us an explosive unit,’’ said Ogletree, who leads the Cavaliers with 27 catches for 318 yards.
As good Verica was Saturday, Ogletree said, ‘‘I know Marc’s best days are ahead of him.’’
Other players shared a similarly cheery outlook Tuesday, in stark contrast to the gloom that hung over the team last week.
‘‘Morale is really high now,’’ said safety Byron Glaspy.
But he and fellow senior Clint Sintim have seen enough ups and downs in their careers to know they can’t let the euphoria distract them from continuing to improve — a message they will help coach Al Groh impart to their younger teammates.

‘‘Don’t let that game be the signature mark for the season, but build on it,’’ Sintim said. ‘‘We have a long list of games, a lot more competition.’’

AP-ES-10-07-08 2026EDT

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