CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- UVA freshmen quarterback Anthony Colandrea showed exactly why it took head coach Tony Elliott so long to name a starting quarterback this season. 

Starting his first collegiate game after senior quarterback Tony Muskett was ruled out due a shoulder injury sustained last week against Tennessee, Colandrea looked much more experienced than his age, throwing for 377 yards, two touchdowns and almost leading the Cavs down the field for a game-winning drive. 

"[It was a] tough situation, but he was prepared, head coach Tony Ellliott said. "He was ready. He did what he showed us throughout the course of fall camp. We knew that he's a guy that when the lights come on, the bigger the stage, it seems like he elevates."

That stage included an early deficit where the Cavaliers found themselves in a 17-7 hole at the end of the first quarter. Colandrea slowly settled into the game, showing his big play ability and giving the team a 35-24 lead before the weather delay late in the third quarter. 

"I thought he did a good job of managing the system," Elliott said. "Making throws he and then he did what he does with the off schedule plays, where your kind of thinking you think you got him and the next thing he pops out [and] he finds a guy on the run. There's still gonna be some opportunities for him to learn, but overall, just really, really proud of the situation." 

Colandrea showed that same optimism about his own performance. 

"It was awesome." he said. "It was something that was I dreamed about as a little kid and like going out there, especially everything that happened today was a huge blessing."

At this point, there's still no word on whether Colandrea or Muskett will start when the team faces Maryland this Friday.