A Feel-Good Ending
Sunday, November 25, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Nov. 24 -- Frank Beamer's stomach felt awful Saturday morning. He couldn't sleep even one hour Friday night. Before his Virginia Tech team left for Scott Stadium to face arch-rival Virginia, Beamer asked team physician Gunnar Brolinson for medicine. He swallowed it without even knowing what it was.
By the time the afternoon ended, Beamer's stomach had settled, and his Hokies were making plans for another trip: to the ACC championship game in Jacksonville. No. 8 Virginia Tech earned that reward by defeating the No. 16 Cavaliers, 33-21, to win the conference's Coastal Division.
The Hokies will play Boston College next Saturday for the right to play in the Orange Bowl. The Cavaliers, whose magical regular season ended bitterly, now are relegated to a lesser bowl.
"I kept saying this is biggest game we'd ever played against Virginia," Beamer said. "I think I started believing it. And my stomach got a hold of it, too."
Beamer improved to 6-1 against Virginia Coach Al Groh partly because Branden Ore ran for a season-high 147 yards -- topping 100 yards for the first time since last October -- and mostly because Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon formed a two-headed quarterbacking monster that will haunt the Cavaliers for an offseason.
After Taylor scored a decisive touchdown with about 12 minutes remaining, he and Glennon met on the sidelines. For a moment, they interrupted their dissection of the game to reflect on the responsibilities they've learned to share.
"I was a little nervous about how this was going to play out," Glennon told Taylor, wearing a sly smile. "But it's going pretty well."
"Yeah," Taylor said. "I like it, too."
What's not to like? The quarterbacks, who swapped places 20 times, victimized Virginia in their own ways. Glennon completed 13 of 19 attempts for 260 yards, heaving passes that allowed Virginia Tech's wide receivers -- "the biggest factor in the game today," Groh said -- to run wild against Virginia's overmatched cornerbacks. Eddie Royal caught six passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, and Josh Morgan and Josh Hyman caught four apiece, for 75 and 63 yards, respectively.
While Glennon shredded the Cavaliers from the pocket, Taylor danced around them. He ran six times for 29 yards (not including three sacks), scoring the first touchdown of the game and the last.
Once Taylor returned from the ankle injury he suffered Oct. 13, he started sharing the position with Glennon. In the three games since, Virginia Tech's offense has scored 117 points. The 33 Saturday were the most the Cavaliers have surrendered this season.
"Tyrod Taylor is an amazing athlete," Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim said. "I had him in my grasp a couple times, but he always weaseled away."