At quarterback for Virginia Tech: Yin and yang

By Darrell Laurant  |   Tuesday, November 27, 2007  |  Comments( 1 )

Virginia Tech Hokies
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For most college football coaches, having two starting quarterbacks is like having two girlfriends -- it seems like a great idea at first, but it will come back to bite you.

Credit Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer and offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, then, with turning a budding quarterback controversy this season into a successful collaboration.

At this point in the season, neither redshirt junior Sean Glennon nor freshman Tyrod Taylor worry that they'll be replaced by the other in the middle of a game. Rather, they might be replaced in the middle of a series, and it's all part of the plan.

Glennon is a classic pocket passer, Taylor a running threat in the Tech mold of Bryan Randall or the Vick brothers Michael and Marcus. The team rushing stats tell you all you need to know about their styles -- Taylor, 395 yards on the ground; Glennon, minus-37.

Taylor, a 6-foot, 207-pounder out of football-rich Hampton, Va., was the most-eagerly anticipated QB prospect since the elder Vick. But with the veteran Glennon at the helm of the offense, the consensus was to let the youngster develop slowly, maybe even during a redshirt year.

Then Glennon had a dreadful, deer-in-the-headlights game against LSU, an embarrassing butt-kicking on national TV, and Taylor was impressive after being inserted in the third quarter. The next Monday, he was named the starter, his red-shirt up in smoke.

Taylor played well for a couple of games (including a surprisingly easy 41-23 victory over Clemson that was accomplished mostly by the defense), lending a new dimension to the Hokies' attack, only to suffer a high ankle sprain against Duke. Glennon played well in the remainder of that game, then completed 15 of 25 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown on a muddy field against Boston College, which the Hokies face Saturday in Jacksonville for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

When Taylor's ankle healed, the Tech coaches decided to try something similar to Florida's "two-headed quarterback" system with Chris Leak and Tim Tebow in 2006. Except that unlike Tebow, who was primarily a running threat last season, Taylor is as likely to stay in the pocket and unload as he is to scamper downfield.

So Glennon has not evolved into a "passing down" quarterback like the pass-rushing specialist on the other side of the line. And Taylor is anything but predictable.

"I don't even notice who's in at quarterback anymore," said Tech fullback Carlton Weatherford.

Besides befuddling the opposition, the advantages are that both QBs can have frequent conferences with their coaches on the sideline, not having to play the entire game leaves both fresher, and both are happy with their playing time.

And it's a look Boston College hasn't seen, because Taylor was injured the first time the teams played (a game BC pulled out in the final minute, 14-10).
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