Tough Day at the Office for Va. Tech's QBs

By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 4, 2008

MIAMI, Jan. 3 -- It was another bowl, and another night of calamity for Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon, who said he would take full responsibility for his team's dispiriting 24-21 loss to the University of Kansas on Thursday night in the 74th Orange Bowl.

A year ago in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Glennon had four turnovers as the Hokies melted down in the second half of a loss to Georgia, leading to an offseason of some discontent for the redshirt junior from Westfield High School . Thursday against the Jayhawks, he threw two interceptions that led to 10 Kansas points and managed only 13 completions for 160 yards.

"You can't expect to win a BCS game if you don't win the turnover battle," Glennon said a few minutes after the final gun had sounded, ending another Virginia Tech season with a bitter loss. "We just put our defense in a bind. I take a lot of responsibility for that. As an offense, we have to put points on the board, and we didn't do that."

Glennon's season has had its share of ups and downs. He played poorly at the start of the year and was benched after a 48-7 loss to LSU in the second game of the season, replaced by freshman Tyrod Taylor.

Glennon then backed up Taylor for four games before Taylor was hurt against Duke. Both players shared the position as Virginia Tech found its stride late in the season, eventually winning the ACC title and moving to No. 5 in the polls.

Taylor also threw a costly interception, a sideline pass that was picked off by Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib and returned 60 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Kansas had 17 of its 27 points from the three interceptions, and the Hokies simply could not recover.

"When you play a good team and you turn the ball over, it's going to get you," Hokies Coach Frank Beamer said. "It was just one of those games for us where things didn't go the way they should."

Glennon said he felt a little better about his own performance this year than he did a year ago in the loss to Georgia, when the Bulldogs rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit and scored 28 unanswered points.

"I played better this year than I did last year," he said. "Unfortunately we came up short in both games. With myself being the leader of the offense, I take responsibility, but I wouldn't compare it to last year.

"It hurts right now, but I think when we look at it tomorrow, next week, I don't think anyone will be disappointed. We overcame some early losses, and of course the tragedy last year that happened. Winning the Orange Bowl would have been icing on the cake."

Glennon was constantly under a pass rush and blitzing pressure from the Kansas defense. Taylor had only one completion in three attempts for 11 yards, and the two quarterbacks were sacked five times overall, and hurried on countless other pass attempts.

"Last year against Georgia, it was tougher because the wheels just fell off," Glennon said. "We were up big and the fourth quarter was a nightmare. In this one, we just blew some opportunities. I'm very upset right now, but when it's all said and done, we'll have a lot to look back at and be proud of."

His teammates certainly had no problem with Glennon's effort.

"You feel bad as a team period," said wide receiver Justin Harper. "But we're not pointing fingers at [Glennon]. I had drops. Other guys dropped passes. Sean's a great player and we can't bitch at him. And we'll be a two-headed monster with him and Tyrod next year. He'll come back from this. I know that."

Said Beamer, "over there in that dressing room, there are some hurt guys. I think our kids gave great effort, we just didn't get it done. But I think there's a togetherness at Virginia Tech more so than ever. I really feel like the Hokie Nation is closer together and more caring about each other than they've ever been."

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