Martin's Injury Will Give Another Backup LB an Opportunity to Shine
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 15 -- Already without middle linebacker Vince Hall for its Thursday night showdown with No. 3 Boston College on Oct. 25, Virginia Tech likely will not have starting outside linebacker Cam Martin either.
Martin, a sophomore, learned this weekend that he has mononucleosis, Coach Frank Beamer said, and he is listed as questionable for the Boston College game. Martin, who has 31 tackles and three sacks, will be replaced by sophomore Cody Grimm (Oakton), typically a special teams ace.
Hall's replacement, Brett Warren (Centreville), proved worthy on Saturday against Duke. He made eight solo tackles, three tackles for a loss, and had a sack and an interception. Yesterday, Warren was named ACC defensive lineman of the week. Beamer feels Grimm, though undersized at 5 feet 11 and 206 pounds, can have a similar impact in Martin's absence.
"He is a really good football player," Beamer said. "I've got a lot of faith in that guy."
Sophomore right tackle Ed Wang (Stone Bridge) made his debut Saturday, bolstering the Hokies' embattled offensive line and assisting in one of Virginia Tech's best offensive showings this season.
The Hokies gained 445 yards, more than they had against every opponent aside from Ohio. With Wang's left ankle recovered, it allowed Nick Marshman to move from tackle to left guard, his best position.
"After watching the video, I promise you that's our best lineup," Beamer said.
Wang, a converted tight end, gave Virginia Tech increased athleticism at tackle. He had not played tackle before, but he impressed Beamer with his ability to block linebackers in the open field. Beamer felt Marshman played better at guard than he did at tackle, but "we'd like to see him more physical at times," he said.
Taylor or Glennon?
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a high-ankle sprain Saturday, is questionable for the Boston College game. So Beamer may have a decision to make about whether Taylor or Sean Glennon will start at quarterback.
Though fans have clamored for Taylor, statistics show Glennon has been just as effective. Taylor has been behind center for 286 plays, Glennon 138. Under Taylor, Virginia Tech has gained 4.8 yards per play. Under Glennon, the Hokies have gained five yards per play.
If Taylor is healthy, Beamer's quarterback quandary is much more difficult because of Glennon's sterling game Saturday. After Taylor went down in the second quarter, Glennon threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-21 passing.
Aside from Taylor and Martin, Virginia Tech emerged injury-free from Saturday's game. Left tackle Duane Brown sprained his knee and ankle, but the minor injuries will not force him to miss any time.