Offense Finally Looks Sharp for Virginia Tech

Evans racks up 253 yards against Maryland

Sean Glennon sat beaming from ear to ear, grass stains on his uniform and a sense in the air that maybe Virginia Tech had finally found its offense.

The fifth-year senior quarterback heaped credit on tailback Darren Evans for his 253-yard rushing effort, and on the oft-maligned line that blew holes in Maryland's defensive front.

He took the high road when discussing his own on-again, off-again role for the Hokies (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).

"Thursday night. I couldn't think of a game I'd want to get out there more for, so I'm just really, really thankful," Glennon said after Virginia Tech beat No. 23 Maryland 23-13.

"I've been missing the field so much. Watching from the sidelines, it's been killing me."

The quarterback, anointed the starter two years in a row at Virginia Tech and then benched in favor of the more mobile Tyrod Taylor each time, got the start only because the ankle sprain he sustained 12 days earlier healed faster than the one Taylor got the same day.

Glennon wasn't spectacular against the Terps, but he wasn't asked to be and didn't need to be the way Evans was running. Glennon finished 14-for-20 for 127 yards and a touchdown.

More importantly, he had no interceptions, no fumbles, and a steadying influence. He gave the Hokies' young receivers the chance to make plays in big spots, and the whole unit a calming sense of what needed to be done after Maryland closed to within one score at 20-13.

They thought they were driving for a settling score until the snap came too soon on a third-and-1 play from the Hokies 44, and Glennon alertly fell on the ball and turned his back to the defense, preventing any defenders from diving in and popping the ball free.

And with a 10-point lead and 5½ minutes to play, he directed a run-only drive that spoke mostly to the improved line play and Evans' running, but also to the leader in the huddle.

The drive, he said, "was probably the most impressive. We had 5½ minutes left and we ran it down to zero when they knew we were going to run the ball. That's all the offensive line."

Standing on the sidelines watching the offense grind out yards, cornerback Victor Harris said, was "a lot of fun" and made shutting the Terrapins down all that much easier.

Maryland finished with minus 12 rushing yards and just 228 yards in all.

"Whenever we're fresh, we can go out there and just get after them," Harris said.

Suddenly, the Hokies are right back in position to do what the experts expected at the start of the season: win the ACC's Coastal Division and a spot in the league championship.

A year ago, after being demoted early in the season, Glennon got a second chance when Taylor was hurt and played well enough to keep the job even after Taylor got healthy again.

It's not clear just yet if that will be an option again, but sitting in a room abuzz with the sounds of victory and knowing he had a role in it clearly was a scene Glennon savored.

"We've looked at it as a four-game season," Glennon said. "Nothing that we've done so far even matters because if we win the rest of our games, we go to the ACC championship game no questions asked. We're looking at it as a four-game season, and this was step one."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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