At Tech, a change of start

Beamer hands QB Taylor the ball instead of redshirt

ACC Notebook

September 13, 2007|By Heather A. Dinich | Heather A. Dinich,Sun reporter

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said yesterday that he had intended to redshirt freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but after the Hokies' 48-7 road loss to Louisiana State on Saturday, he instead named Taylor his starter.

"As we went along, his performance on the field kept getting our attention, but even in the opening ballgame against East Carolina we had already determined we weren't going to play him, even if we got in a situation where we could," Beamer said. "As we continued on, his performance and where we were as a football team we decided this was what was best for the football program."

Taylor, who made his collegiate debut late in the first half against LSU, will start Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game against Ohio - and possibly for the rest of the season. He gained 44 rushing yards on nine carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run. He also completed seven of 18 passes for 62 yards.

"He's a very calm guy," said Beamer, who could earn his 200th career win this weekend. "I think he does things very naturally on the football field. He's a guy who is a leader. He's not a scream guy by any stretch of the imagination, but he has good leadership ability. He's very smart. ... There's just a lot of things to like about Tyrod."

The move displaced and disheartened Sean Glennon, who is 11-4 as a starter at Virginia Tech.

"Even though [Taylor] came into the LSU game, I really didn't think he would be the starter," Glennon told reporters Monday in Blacksburg, Va. "That's probably the thing I'm most unpleased about. I played five quarters after a year and nine months of being the guy. Just to get it taken away like that, it's heartbreaking.

"It's just unfortunate that I'm put in a position where, because my legs don't more as fast as Tyrod's, I will not be playing."

QB rotation

While Virginia coach Al Groh has remained mum on who will start at quarterback for Saturday's noon game at North Carolina, Groh said he plans "to rotate them as the game situation presents itself."

Virginia turned to backup quarterback Peter Lalich, a freshman, in last weekend's 24-13 win over Duke. Starter Jameel Sewell completed nine of 14 passes.

"I would be dramatically surprised if you don't see both of them," North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. "If you do, you've got to be ready for both quarterbacks. If one emerges and plays 75 percent of the time and the other is 25, you've still got to be prepared for both of them."

Miami-FIU rematch

When Miami faces Florida International at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Orange Bowl, memories of last year's brawl are bound to linger, but first-year Miami coach Randy Shannon said he doesn't expect anything of the sort under his watch.

Thirty-one players were suspended for their involvement in the melee last October, but both programs have new coaches this season - FIU's Mario Cristobal and Shannon - both Miami graduates.

"We can't worry about last year," Shannon said. "That was a different team, different coaches and different mentality from both teams. We don't really talk about it and discuss it. ... We tell guys to make sure you don't hit guys late, push them late and tempt guys to retaliate."

Shannon will be coaching against his son, Xavier, who is FIU's starting left tackle.

"He's doing a great job over there," said Shannon, who added that he recruited some of the players on FIU's roster. "Some of the players on the [Hurricanes] team know him. ... It's almost like playing against guys you played against in high school. It should be a great game."

First meeting

When No. 21 Boston College (2-0) travels to face No. 15 Georgia Tech (2-0) for an 8 p.m. kickoff Saturday, it will mark the first time the programs have played each other since Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

It's not something Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey has been looking forward to.

"If they weren't any good, I'd be eager to play them," he said. "You'd like to have an easier game, but that's just not the way it is in the conference."

Late start

Florida State's 10 p.m. kickoff at Colorado on Saturday is going to be way past bedtime for Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden.

"Oh my goodness," he said. "Let me just say this: I'll be waking up to go to the game. That's mighty late."

Bowden, 77, said he goes to bed about 7:30 p.m.

heather.dinich@baltsun.com

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