2007 Monday Thoughts: LSU

It takes a full season to tell the story of a team. You don’t really know
what you’ve got until it’s all over and you can sift through the ashes, or the
confetti, if you’re lucky. Having said that, there are chapters in a book where
a lot more happens than in other chapters, and the Hokie coaches, fans, and
players just experienced that. Chapter 2: LSU.

Before I get underway, I’ll admit that I’m flying blind in this week’s
“Monday Thoughts.” I traveled down to Baton Rouge and witnessed this
48-7 debacle first hand, and I didn’t get back home until almost eight o’clock
Sunday night. I haven’t watched the game yet on DVR, but I have read a handful
of articles and the early Beamerball.com coaches’ interviews. I also talked to a
good source to get his take on things, but that’s about it.

One big piece of missing information fell into place Monday afternoon: Tyrod
Taylor will be the starting quarterback for this weekend’s Ohio game, and, one
would assume, beyond. I’m glad that information came out before I typed out 3-5
pages, only to have my work get blown out of the water by the Tyrod news.

And that sounds like a good place to start.

Tyrod Quickly Moves to #1

At about 10:00 pm Eastern time Saturday night, Sean Glennon was the starting
quarterback for Virginia Tech, and he was struggling to get the offense going
against LSU in Tiger Stadium. A few minutes later, he was on the sidelines
watching his backup lead the offense, and less than two days later, he had been
bumped down to #2 on the quarterback depth chart.

Glennon sacked up after the CFA Bowl debacle last season and went back to work.
He pushed himself in the weight room, he watched film, he re-established himself
firmly as the starter in the spring, and he (according to sources) earned the
trust and backing of his teammates in the process.

Saturday night, that all went down the drain.

In the process, I lost $20 to a buddy who bet me, back at the final fall
scrimmage on August 24th, that Tyrod would be put in the game against LSU to try
to lead a comeback. I figured there was no way Frank Beamer, who defines the
word conservative when it comes to offense, would put a true freshman
quarterback into the game in Death Valley.

We all know that Tyrod is a physically gifted player with a bright future,
but the magnitude of Frank Beamer putting him into the game in Baton Rouge can’t
be understated. The setup going into the season was this: The Hokies were going
to have another excellent defense, perhaps the top defense in the country. The
offense returned a deep wide receiver corps, a great running back in Branden
Ore, and rapidly improving tight ends. Sean Glennon had improved, and though he
wasn’t going to set the world on fire, the coaching staff was committed to him
being the quarterback. All indications were that Tech was going to be good
enough to win the ACC, and there was no reason to upset the apple cart by
messing around with the quarterbacks.

That’s all different now, and a couple days later, I’m still trying to figure
out what changed in Baton Rouge to turn Frank Beamer, typically not a
risk-taker, into a gambler. Despite Tyrod Taylor’s physical gifts and his calm
demeanor, he is a true freshman QB. True freshmen can’t read defenses very well,
and they make a lot of mistakes, and Frank Beamer hates mistakes on
offense. To start Tyrod Taylor is to gamble.

So I examined Beamer’s quotes in the wake of what he did Saturday night.

“I think [Taylor] gives some athletic ability in our offense that we
need. Our offensive line will continue to get better. I think Tyrod helps our
offensive line with his ability,” Beamer was quoted in the post game

In announcing the decision on Beamerball.com, Beamer said, “… with
the personnel that we have, we think that our best chance at establishing a
running game is with Tyrod Taylor. We have to be able to run the football if
we hope to have success as an offense.”

Here’s how I interpret those comments: Frank Beamer has figured out that the
VT offense is in such a bad state that it needs a quarterback who can run for
his life. In other words, the offense