12:00 PM ET, November 24, 2007
Scott Stadium, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
They turned about to be quite a QB combination, dominating the biggest game the Hokies have ever played against rival Virginia.
Glennon threw for 260 yards and Taylor ran for two touchdowns Saturday, leading the Hokies past the No. 16 Cavaliers 33-21 and into the ACC championship game.
"I don't know if it's the best. It's definitely one of the most important games, most important wins, I've been a part of," Glennon said after going 13-for-19. "I don't know if I've been part of too many games that had more on the line than that."
The Hokies (10-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) also got a season-high 147 yards rushing from Branden Ore and six catches for 147 yards and a touchdown from Eddie Royal. They beat the Cavaliers for the fourth straight year and the eighth time in the last nine meetings.
The victory earned Virginia Tech a rematch with Boston College (No. 14 BCS, No. 15 AP) in next Saturday's conference title game in Jacksonville, Fla. The Eagles rallied with two touchdowns in the final 2:11 to beat the Hokies 14-10 in Blacksburg on Oct. 25.
"There's not much more we could ask for," Glennon said of the rematch.
The Hokies look like a different team than they did a month ago, having beaten Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami and Virginia in succession, outscoring them 144-59.
The last one was the hardest to get, coming against a Virginia team that had won nine of 10 and was poised to finally end the Hokies' domination of the rivalry.
"If this had been an easy win, I don't think it would feel as good as does now because we know it hurts when you go all out on the line and then you still come up short," Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall said.
Virginia (9-3, 6-2) led late in the second quarter before an interception by Brandon Flowers with 40 seconds to go yielded a three-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that left the crowd of 61,711 stunned. Up 20-14, the Hokies never trailed again.
"That took some wind out of their sails," Hokies left tackle Duane Brown said of the drive, capped by Glennon's 39-yard strike to Royal.
"The ball actually caught me by surprise it was such a good throw," Royal said.
Taylor scored on runs of 9 and 5 yards, the second with 11:50 remaining to give Virginia Tech a 30-21 lead. After Virginia was forced to punt, the Hokies drove to the Cavaliers 9 and Jud Dunlevy's fourth field goal completed the scoring.
Glennon and Taylor have taken turns as Virginia Tech's starting quarterback, but rarely have they been able to go at the same time. Glennon was knocked silly and missed most of the Hokies' victory against Florida State two weeks ago, and Taylor pulled a muscle last week against Miami and played little.
The quarterback rotation allows the Hokies to highlight the skills of both players, and it won the admiration of Virginia's best player, defensive end Chris Long.
"What makes the two-quarterback system tough is No. 5," he said of Taylor, who twice went wide and outran defenders for TDs. "He's going to be a heck of a player. He already is a heck of a player because of what he brings to the table athletically."
Dunlevy also kicked a 29-yarder early in the second half to make it 23-14, capping a drive set up when Davon Morgan blocked Ryan Weigand's punt.
The stakes had never been so high in the previous 88 meetings between the teams. Late in the third quarter, Virginia seemed ready to make it go down to the wire.
Long, a Lombardi Award finalist who'd been quiet up to that point, sacked Taylor at the Hokies 28. The freshman fumbled, and Antonio Appleby recovered for the Cavaliers.
Jameel Sewell, who ran for two touchdowns, kept the ensuing drive alive with a 17-yard pass to a diving Jonathan Stupar on third-and-12 from the 19. Sewell ran it in on the next play to pull Virginia within 23-21 and fire up the home crowd.
But after an exchange of punts, the Hokies struck again.
Glennon hit Josh Morgan for 25 yards, and Ore went off left tackle for 25 more, putting the ball at the Cavaliers 16. Five plays later, Taylor replaced Glennon at quarterback and took off on a delay for the left corner of the end zone.
The Cavaliers appeared to have momentum late in the first half, too, leading 14-13 and driving into Virginia Tech territory. Then Flowers intercepted Sewell.
"They kind of had us on our heels a little bit," Beamer said.
Glennon then hit Royal in stride deep downfield and Royal silenced the crowd by beating a tackle and taking it into the end zone.
"We had the ball with 40 seconds to go in the first half," Groh said, calling the play the turning point. "Twenty-eight seconds later, they had seven points."
Virginia Tech scored on its first two possessions on a 9-yard run from Taylor and a 20-yard field goal by Dunlevy.
Mikell Simpson broke off a 27-yard TD run to make it 10-7.
Glennon's 56-yard pass to Royal set up another field goal by Dunlevy from 37 yards. The Cavaliers went three-and-out before a trick play backfired for Virginia Tech.
Seven plays later, Sewell ran it in from the 7.
The Hokies didn't get another first down until the big one just before halftime.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Virginia Tech running back Branden Ore and quarterback Sean Glennon orchestrated an eight-play, 68-yard scoring drive to give the Hokies a 30-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
Gameball goes to... Tyrod Taylor and Glennon. In their best imitation of Florida's dual-quarterback system from '06, Glennon beat UVa in the air while Taylor punched in two goal-line touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 103. Virginia Tech entered the game with the nation's 103rd-ranked offense. But the Hokies rang up 430 yards of total offense in a fairly balanced effort.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-13||7-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-1|
|TD||12:12||Tyrod Taylor 9 Yd Run (Jud Dunlevy Kick) |
Drive: 4 plays, 41 yds, 1:19
|FG||05:47||Jud Dunlevy 20 Yd |
Drive: 12 plays, 65 yds, 5:23
|TD||02:37||Mikell Simpson 27 Yd Run (Chris Gould Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 72 yds, 3:04
|FG||00:34||Jud Dunlevy 37 Yd |
Drive: 5 plays, 60 yds, 1:53
|TD||06:35||Jameel Sewell 8 Yd Run (Chris Gould Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 52 yds, 3:36
|TD||00:12||Eddie Royal 39 Yd Pass From Sean Glennon (Jud Dunlevy Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 65 yds, :28
|FG||07:51||Jud Dunlevy 29 Yd |
Drive: 7 plays, 15 yds, 3:16
|TD||02:51||Jameel Sewell 2 Yd Run (Chris Gould Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 28 yds, 2:46
|TD||11:50||Tyrod Taylor 5 Yd Run (Jud Dunlevy Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 68 yds, 3:00
|FG||04:56||Jud Dunlevy 26 Yd |
Drive: 8 plays, 58 yds, 4:54