Sunday, November 04, 2007

Game Review – VT vs. Georgia Tech

I don't know if you've stopped to think about how difficult it must have been as a Virginia Tech football player to lose that game against Boston College last week. But it must have been even harder to put that loss behind them and rise up to deliver the greatest performance of the season so far. I often criticize Coach Beamer and his staff for gameplans and in-game playcalling, but Beamer has always been a MASTER of having his team ready to play and overcoming the emotions of both big victories and big defeats. It was never on greater display than Thursday night against the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.

First and foremost let's tip our collective hat to Sean Glennon. For a guy who has gone through a lot of lows in his career, the latest of which involved being benched in the 2nd game of this season, he showed why I have been a fan of his as a Hokie for so long. I have been very critical of his play and his talent, but I have NEVER questioned his heart and his toughness and he showed both in spades against Georgia Tech. The team needed the backup QB to play his very best and Glennon did that on the road in a big time ACC game.

But let's not get too caught up in this shall we? Glennon is still a backup QB in terms of his playing ability. I won't nitpick his plays, but even offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring was able to recognize (from his post-game comments) that Sean left a lot of plays on the table against the Jackets. Lord knows, if Stinespring can see it, it's obvious to the point of a 72 font, all bold, exclamation point billboard. I am glad Glennon is on the team and if we need him against FSU I know we can count on him to play his best then as well, but Tyrod Taylor was the starter when he got hurt against Duke. Until Tyrod shows that he isn't continuing to make progress, then when he is healthy, he needs to be the starter again. He has talent and ability that Glennon doesn't have, plain and simple. And more than that, a starter in college football should never lose his job to injury. If the backup is playing better than the starter, then certainly I understand making the change, but Taylor was 5-0 as a starter and was getting better every game. The decision is obvious, which probably means the coaching staff will go completely against it and start Glennon against FSU. Of course, I guess the absolute worst case would be some sort of QB carousel like Beamer tried to implement with Marcus Vick and Bryan Randall in '03. But I think the lessons Beamer learned that year were so painful, I doubt he would try it again.

Being Mad Jay, I see a ton of areas for improvement that should involve far more focus than the QB position right now, since both QB's are playing well. The defense missed some tackles (I KNOW Coach Foster will be having them hitting the tackle dummy this week), some of them embarrassingly bad wrap-up attempts. Also, Josh Morgan gives up yards to try and make the big play instead of getting the sure first down. He did that twice in this game and it's simply unacceptable when this offense needs first downs like a man in the desert needs water. I love Morgan down field making plays on the ball, but I don't like him with the ball in his hands out in the open field. Branden Ore STILL is missing that "pop" that he had in 2006. I saw him make one GT player miss in the hole the entire game. He made his living off of making defenders miss last season, of beating the first guy to him, and this year he just isn't doing it. Coach Hite has me completely stumped. Why he won't run a true 2 back offense I can't understand, but it keeps Lewis, Jr. from getting into a rhythm and from being a contributor to the offense. The team will badly need Ore down the homestretch in November and I'd sure feel a LOT better if Lewis, Jr. had some relatively meaningful carries thus far to make certain that Ore isn't overworked or if God forbid, Ore gets injured and has to miss a game.

But enough about that stuff. Revel in the fact that the offense hung 481 yards on the ACC's statistically toughest defense and had the ball for 15 more minutes than the Yellow Jackets. The Hokie defense held the GT offense to 271 yards and forced 6 turnovers. This was the most complete performance by the team yet.

Again, I don't think one can overstate how hard it must have been to recover from a devastating loss like BC and go out and play the best the team played all season. We, as fans, have to show similar character and rebound from the BC game to make the FSU and Miami games just as tough on those opponents as the crowd was for BC. Always remember that being a TechSuperfan means you are expected to leave it all in the stands, just as the players and coaches are expected to leave it all on the field.



Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

G'day mates! Where's the Ice and EhhTee here, reporting from Sydney.

Opinionated as a blog we are, we have to respectfully disagree a bit here MadJay.

Glennon is now our starting quarterback (again.) We believe that Taylor has been healthy for quite some time now. Glennon has reproved himself at the position (yes we are even thinking about that fumble play.)

We also think that IF we do go to a rotation, it's not quite like the Randall/Vick situation. Randall and Vick were very similar in style at quarterback -- both mobile -- where as Glennon and Taylor can compliment each other well... IF we went to such a system.

theoakleys said...

As always I respect the comments from my dissenting brethren. However two things to keep in mind:

1) They admit they are in Australia where the toilets flush the other way and the beer flows very freely

2) On a more serious note, a QB rotation isn't about complementing a skill set, it is about acknowledging a team leader. It's my opinion that you have to have a starter and a backup for the good of the team. Also, look at the opponent - Florida State. Unlike Georgia Tech they don't play a complex defense. It is almost exclusively man-to-man. There aren't a whole lot of reads, but it does require some excellent throws and in a man-to-man if a QB can break contain he can gain HUGE yardage downfield unlike against a typical zone defense. This game is built for Tyrod Taylor, not Sean Glennon.

Again I admire my colleagues and their differences in opinion but I remain steadfast in my support for Taylor as the starter this weekend.