A tale of two struggling football teams


Story by Chris Graham

The two I-A football teams in the Commonwealth have between them two unconvincing wins, two embarrassing losses and two true freshmen who look to be the answer at quarterback.

Virginia Tech has made the move at signal-caller official – coach Frank Beamer named Tyrod Taylor his starter for the Hokies’ home game against Ohio on Saturday.

Taylor takes over for junior Sean Glennon – who struggled mightily (2-for-10, 16 yards, one interception) in the 48-7 blowout loss at LSU last weekend.

Taylor was inserted into the lineup in the second quarter – and finished with 44 yards rushing on nine carries and completed 7-of-18 pass attempts for 62 yards.Beamer said today that he had thought as recently as the home opener against East Carolina that he was going to redshirt Taylor for the 2007 season.“Most freshmen when you come in, I mean, it’s just very, very difficult, particularly at quarterback, to play. As we went along, his performance on the field kept getting our attention, but we really, even in the opening ballgame against East Carolina, we’d determined that we weren’t going to play him if we got into a situation where we could. We still had plans to redshirt him. But as we continued on, and his performance, and where we were as a football team, we decided this was what was best for the football program,” Beamer said. 

Up the road in Charlottesville, Al Groh has either not made a call on who his starting QB will be, or he is playing coy to keep North Carolina coach Butch Davis guessing.

The presumptive starter, sophomore Jameel Sewell, has looked awful – completing 20 of his 37 pass attempts for 147 yards through two games and posting an efficiency rating of 85.5. True freshman Peter Lalich has looked good in parts of two games – completing 16 of his 23 throws for 147 yards and compiling an efficiency rating of 137.6, which would put him third in the ACC if he had enough attempts to qualify for the league leaders.

All Groh has said about his quarterback situation is that both will play on Saturday in Chapel Hill – as he answered a question in a teleconference today, his plan is “just to rotate them as the game situation presents itself.”

Beamer has another situation to handle – Glennon said in a newspaper interview this week that he was disappointed when he heard the news about his demotion, and that he is considering transferring at the end of the season.

“He was very disappointed, as I expected him to be,” Beamer said of his meeting with Glennon to let him know of his decision to start Taylor. “He’s such a competitor, and he’s put so much into the football season. You would think he would be disappointed – and he was.

“But what I asked him to do was to help this football team, help Tyrod, and just feel like there’s going to be a time down the road where he’s going to need to come in and help the team win – and I feel like he’ll be ready to do that at that time,” Beamer said.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The SportsDominion.


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