Hokie Handoff

By Carolyn Braff - September 10, 2007

Drastic times call for drastic measures, and both the times and measures have arrived at Virginia Tech. After being embarrassed 48-7 by LSU on Saturday, head coach Frank Beamer has yanked his veteran signal-caller in favor of a freshman. Tyrod Taylor will make his first start on Saturday against Ohio University, hoping to lead the Hokies out of an uninspired 1-1 start and away from the rapidly-growing trappings of a terribly disappointing season.

Taylor can rest assured that for at least the next few weeks, he is the go-to guy. There will be no dual-quarterback attack in Blacksburg.

"Tyrod is our quarterback," head coach Frank Beamer said in a press conference on Monday. "I'm not quick to pull a quarterback. I think those guys [have] got to work through some times, and if it's a little rough, you've got to work through it. We didn't make this decision quickly and we're not going to pull our quarterback quickly. Tyrod is the quarterback - two, three, four five [games]. We expect Tyrod to be our quarterback."

The decision may not have come as a shock to Taylor, who made is college debut in the final three quarters of last week's game, but it certainly was news to Sean Glennon. The junior quarterback started under center for the Hokies all of last season, compiling an 11-4 record through Week 1's skin-of-their-teeth win over East Carolina. Glennon had been the face of the Tech team throughout media coverage of the April 16 shooting and its aftermath, but he has yet to put his arm where his mouth is.

Glennon completed just two passes for 16 yards in the five possessions he played against LSU. He also tossed a pick and took a sack before Beamer replaced him with Taylor in the second quarter. The freshman outdid his superior, completing 7-of-18 passes for 62 yards, but admitted that he has a lot of work to do in his passing game. Clearly.

"I don't know if I was in long enough to gauge whether I could get the offense going or whatever," Glennon said. "Coaches felt like Tyrod gave us a better chance, and I can't argue with their decision."

Five possessions against the nation's top defense – and that's exactly what LSU is, despite the fact that statistically they're No. 3 – is probably more than enough to gauge that Glennon was not going to get much going, especially with LSU's defensive line pulverizing Tech's front five.

The bulldozing the Hokies' offensive line took at the hands of the Tigers brought to light Glennon's biggest shortcoming - he's nowhere near as mobile as Taylor. Beamer made a wise decision to pull his QB in favor of one who could move, and Taylor put his mobility on display from the get-go – he led the team in rushing with 44 yards on nine carries, including a one-yard touchdown run. His 23-yard scramble was Virginia Tech's longest play of the game, and may have sealed the deal for the young quarterback.

"It's not Sean," Beamer said. "It's where we are as a football team right now. We just felt like we needed something to change, and Tyrod can run away from some of those guys."

Beamer contends that his choice to play the freshman was not based solely on Glennon's performance against LSU, and that may well be the case – through two games, Glennon completed 24 of 43 pass attempts for 261 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown. The mobility issue aside, those numbers leave Glennon with a completion rate of 55.8%, ranking him No. 88 in the nation in passing efficiency.

A top 25 team cannot be satisfied with a No. 88 quarterback. End of story.

Posted by Carolyn Braff at 07:52 PM on September 10, 2007

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