2007 Monday Thoughts: Duke

the old saying goes, rumors of Sean Glennon’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
Virginia Tech’s games against Duke have been lopsided affairs, often boring, but
Saturday’s 43-14 victory was full of intrigue, most of it on the offensive side
of the ball. Tyrod Taylor’s injury and Glennon’s sharp work in relief has Hokie
fans scratching their heads, wondering what comes next. I don’t have the answer
to that question, but I do have some thoughts on the game.

It’s been five weeks since Sean Glennon was demoted in favor of Tyrod Taylor,
the Monday after the LSU game. The days following Glennon’s benching were stormy
for the redshirt junior. Glennon made some controversial comments following the
benching, wondering aloud if he would transfer and questioning if he had been
misled by the coaches, who were soundly behind him … until they weren’t (to
borrow a line from Jim Alderson).

Behind the scenes, I was told that upon hearing the news of his demotion,
Glennon stormed out of both Mike O’Cain’s office and Frank Beamer’s office and
announced his intentions to transfer to a teammate. I received a couple of
emails that indicated that the team didn’t respond very kindly to Glennon’s
comments, to say the least. One teammate removed his nameplate from his locker,
and he almost came to blows with one of his own offensive linemen. Then there
was the email that said the offense had intentionally been tanking to try to get
Glennon demoted, in favor of Taylor.

Those were all rumors, scoop, inside sources, etc. They painted a picture of
Glennon as a guy who was isolated from his teammates, not liked, and should
transfer, almost as a safety measure if nothing else. It’s hard to say how true
any of these reports were — I can’t, for example, picture the offense
intentionally tanking. Players want to win. They lift weights, bang heads with
each other, and generally bust their butts January through August, all to win
some games when the ball is kicked off in September.

I read all these emails and wondered what the truth was. Then things died
down, and Sean Glennon disappeared. I was asked several times in radio
interviews following his demotion “how he was doing,” and of course, I
had no answer. I don’t personally communicate with Glennon, and once the early
hubbub died down, he was persona non grata. We saw him on sidelines a little
bit, signaling in plays. He got some mop-up time and tossed a clutch completion
in one play against UNC, but other than that, he didn’t exist.

he was pressed into action against Duke, and a funny thing happened: people got
fired up, both players and fans. The TV commentators for Saturday’s game
remarked repeatedly about the energy the Tech sideline showed when Glennon came
into the game and started slinging the ball around, and about how the team came
alive. I talked to a Hokie fan who went to the game (I didn’t go), and he said
the change in energy in the team and the Hokie fans in the stands was palpable.

The receivers were juiced, Glennon was pitching TDs and getting high fives,
and Duane Brown even gave Sean a big bear hug after a touchdown. Glennon didn’t
look like a guy who was ostracized and not well liked by his teammates. Sure,
it’s easy to be buddies when you’re winning, but that gets right back to what I
was saying above: players want to win. On Saturday, they were winning, and
everything was hunky-dory.

First, let’s talk about Glennon’s performance, and then try to figure out
what it means, if anything.

Wingin’ It

When Tyrod Taylor left the field early in the second quarter, it was at the
very end of a Tech possession, so Glennon had time to warm up before he entered
the game. He did a good job, because he came in smoking hot.

Glennon took over at the Tech 24 and marched the Hokies smartly down the
field, going 76 yards in seven plays, taking 2:26 to do it. Offensive
coordinator Bryan Stinespring didn’t mess around, calling six straight pass
plays, and then finishing the drive off with a Kenny Lewis run up