The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 22nd

VT brings 'explosive' Taylor

Two weeks ago" Tyrod Taylor was going to redshirt this season.

After a fierce competition all summer long senior quarterback Sean Glennon had outplayed Taylor for the starting spot" and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer announced that Taylor would redshirt in order to let him ""benefit from another year of learning.""

Enter East Carolina and Glennon's two interceptions Aug. 30.

Now Taylor is in the middle of every VT option play — and at the forefront of North Carolina's game plan for Saturday's matchup.

""That's the biggest thing"" is can we contain Tyrod Taylor?"" sophomore corner Kendric Burney said. ""That's the biggest question people are going to be asking.""

Taylor has proved himself an epitome of Virginia Tech's much-coveted running quarterback" finishing the game against Georgia Tech 9-of-14 with 74 rush yards to boot.

He is after all the team's leading returning rusher from last year.

In fact" he reminds UNC coach Butch Davis of another Virginia Tech quarterback he has faced.

""They probably look more like the Virginia Tech teams that I played against when I was at Miami" because we faced Michael Vick Davis said. And with Tyrod Taylor he gives them that dimension that they didn't have last year — an explosive guy that's capable of making huge" big plays.""

Taylor started in five games last year as a true first-year" going 5-0.

He even started the game against UNC last year and ran for the game's opening touchdown.

But Taylor's passing in that matchup was suspect" completing 10 of 19 passes and throwing his first collegiate interception.

This is not the same Taylor.

""He's matured from last year" and he looks real comfortable back there" Burney said. You better be one disciplined football team if you're going to slow him down.""

Though Taylor still won't be breaking any pass yardage records" his completion percentage is astronomically high and the intangibles he brings to the run game remain his true contribution to Tech's offense.

Taylor and Glennon traded off snaps in the week two game against Furman" but Taylor almost matched the senior in passing yards and claimed the game's leading rush totals as well.

""He's got a live arm" he can throw the ball 4050 60 yards in the air Davis said. He can scramble" he can run by design — the schemes that they're running are going to give them an opportunity to get the ball in his hands.""

Beamer has been adamant that he will not discuss the quarterback situation in recent weeks"" only maintaining that the team ""has it well defined.""

So Glennon and Taylor continue to share snaps — and starts.

When Beamer announced Taylor's return to the roster"" he refused to say who would open up the offense in the Hokies' second game against Furman.

Glennon got that one. Taylor got Georgia Tech.

""Putting another guy in the game that can help you run the football is in our best interests"" Beamer said in a press conference when announcing the return of the two-quarterback system.

I don't think with young receivers you want to rely on throwing the football 40 times a game.""

Though Virginia Tech's offense has not opened as consistently as in years past" Burney knows North Carolina can't underestimate Taylor" Glennon or anyone on the media's ACC darlings.

""They might have had trouble a couple of weeks ago" but you can't take anybody lightly Burney said.

I've seen Tyrod throw the ball about 60 yards on the run" so you've definitely got to stay in coverage.

""No matter what"" we got to play our defense and play it our way — that's the only way we know how.""

Contact the Sports Editor at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel for December 7, 2020

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive