Tag:Tyrod Taylor
Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:35 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Nov. 20)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Virginia Tech clinched the Coastal Division title because of playmakers - If there is one thing that has seemed to separate Virginia Tech from the rest of the conference in 2010, it has been the weekly appearance of Hokie playmakers. Frank Beamer's roster is loaded with talent that can simply make plays when needed. Virginia Tech clinched their fourth Coastal Division title since joining the ACC in 2004 with their 31-17 dismantling of Miami in Coral Gables on Saturday. When the Hurricanes stuck VT in a corner, the Hokies always had someone to answer. Whether it was Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Williams, or Danny Coale, someone was always stepping up when needed. The Hokies may have the division clinched, but they'll be playing for history against Virginia next week. No team has run the table in the ACC since Florida State did it in 1999 and 2000. A win over the Cavaliers and Virginia Tech can add that to their already impressive ACC resume.

2. N.C. State on the edge of a historic season - By squeezing out a 29-25 come from behind victory against North Carolina, N.C. State has found themselves a game away from competing in their first ACC Atlantic Division title. The Wolfpack have not won an ACC Championship since 1979, and with a win over Maryland next week in the season finale, will have a chance to do so against the Hokies in Charlotte. They got it done with special teams against the Tar Heels, benefitting from T.J. Graham's 87 yard punt return touchdown to give the Wolfpack the go-ahead score in Chapel Hill. The win gave Tom O'Brien a perfect 4-0 record against North Carolina as the N.C. State head coach, an accomplishment that can keep him in good graces around Raleigh for quite some time.

3. There might not be much of a quarterback controversy in Miami - Miami chose not to play quarterback Jacory Harris against Virginia Tech despite being cleared by the doctors before the game. Stephen Morris had performed well in Harris' absence, even leading some pundits to murmur ideas of a quarterback controversy. After Morris' performance against Virginia Tech, which included three interceptions and a lost fumble, it would not be surprising to see Harris back under center for the Hurricanes' season finale against South Florida. Miami's loss ended their chances of a division tittle, and with the conference season being completed are playing for bowl stock against the Bulls next week. The Hurricanes offense finished the game with six turnovers, and Morris looked very much like a freshman against Bud Foster's defense. Harris has a knack for turning the ball over as well, but judging by how active he was on the sidelines on Saturday it would surprising not to see him take some snaps against the Bulls to warm up for the bowl game.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Maxwell semifinalists released; where are RBs?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:

WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.

All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .

So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?

Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.

Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.

They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
Posted on: November 5, 2010 5:08 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 5:17 pm
 

Unitas Award semifinalists make sense ... mostly

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Earlier today, the semifinalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the top senior quarterback in the nation, were announced. Sure, the list is going to pale in comparison to the Davey O'Brien Award, which is allowed to nominate the likes of Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Kellen Moore, Denard Robinson, et cetera, but the senior class is still pretty strong this season.

To that end, we celebrate these eight quarterbacks who were nominated by the Unitas committee:

  • Andy Dalton, TCU
  • Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
  • Jake Locker, Washington
  • Greg McElroy, Alabama
  • Christian Ponder, Florida State
  • Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
  • Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
  • Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin

All worthy honorees, these; of the eight listed, the top six seniors in passing efficiency are represented, and the other two (Ponder, Locker) are high-level pro prospects. It's likely that neither makes the list of five finalists, but they both deserve some credit for their long, eventful college careers.

But wait -- five finalists? Out of eight semifinalists? Oh, no no; here's the rub. There are actually 10 semifinalists. It's just that the last two are so inexplicable that we couldn't in good conscience discuss them in the same context as the first eight. The other two semifinalists, who you wouldn't have guessed given 10 tries, are Idaho's Nathan Enderle and Delaware's Pat Devlin. Yeah, exactly.

Enderle is currently 61st among FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency, and he's tied for fourth in most interceptions thrown with 12. Yes, he's 11th in passing yards per game, but that just makes him the Jerrod Johnson of the WAC. Enderle's not exactly a dual threat, either; he has no rushing touchdowns on the season and rushes for about -18 yards a game once sacks are factored in. Enderle also likely holds the ignominious honor of the worst yards per reception rate in the NCAA, as he was credited for one catch for -13 yards against Hawaii last week. We hope that's the worst in the NCAA, anyway, because woe is anyone worse than that. 

But for as odd as Enderle's selection is, Devlin's is downright mystifying; the Penn State transfer is currently helming the Delaware Blue Hens, who are No. 4 in the FCS, but that's about as far as Devlin's accomplishments go. He's accounted for six touchdowns on the entire year, and half of those came against D-II West Chester to begin the season. In other words, Devlin has thrown three touchdowns against FCS competition all season long. GET THAT MAN ON A SEMIFINALISTS LIST, STAT.

As with Ponder and Locker, it's extremely unlikely that these two guys make the final cut, and it's also unikely that any of the quarterback that got snubbed (FCS No. 3 Villanova's Chris Whitney, Texas Tech's Taylor Potts, and Fresno State's Ryan Colburn , to name a few) would have made the top five either. Still, any of those three would have been better choices than either Enderle or Devlin, and we're at a loss for trying to figure out why either of those two quarterbacks made the list of 10 semifinalists.

Posted on: November 5, 2010 12:01 am
Edited on: November 5, 2010 12:05 am
 

Hokies survive GT, Josh Nesbitt out for season

Posted by Chip Patterson

With the return of Ryan Williams to the Virginia Tech backfield, sophomore running back David Wilson knew he would need to make the most of his few opportunities with the ball. Pushed back to third-string again, Wilson made the most of every touch. But no touch was quite as important as the 90-yard kick return for the winning touchdown with 2:23 left in the game. It was the only way to answer the 9 play, 80 yard drive by a crippled Georgia Tech offense.

One particular aspect of the Georgia Tech option-based offense is that it does not rely too heavily on any particular player. Which is why when starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt left the game after injuring his arm attempting to make a tackle, the Yellow Jackets were far from done. Nesbitt has been the center of Paul Johnson's offensive scheme for most of his career, but Thursday night called for backup Tevin Washington to step in for the second half. After he put together that drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21, all momentum was swinging the way of the Jackets.

But Lane Stadium erupted as Wilson broke free up the left side, accelerating past the Yellow Jackets coverage and right into the end zone. The Hokies were able to secure the 28-21 win and improve to a perfect 5-0 in conference play. But what shook the Coastal Division the most may have been the news on injured quarterback Josh Nesbitt. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Nesbitt is out for the season with a broken right forearm. If there is any good news for the Yellow Jackets, Nesbitt believes that he would be able to play in a bowl game. Otherwise, Thursday night was a narrow escape for the Hokies, and a terrible twist in an already disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 9:32 pm
 

Nesbitt out, but GT leads Virginia Tech 14-7

Posted by Chip Patterson

This Coastal Division showdown between perennial conference powers has already been as eventful as expected, and we are only done with 30 minutes of play.  Georgia Tech jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to two Josh Nesbitt touchdowns, one for 71 yards.  Georgia Tech's defense and special teams served up their own version of "Beamer Ball," forcing Virginia Tech into two turnovers in the first half.  But Nesbitt's heroics were short lived when he threw an interception in the end zone when Georgia Tech was threatening to claim a 21-7 lead.  Nesbitt got injured trying to make a tackle on the interception return.  He went to the locker room and at halftime was declared out for the game.    
Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Ryan Williams out this weekend for Virginia Tech

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Those wondering about the availability of Virginia Tech's all-conference tailback Ryan Williams may wonder no further; the all-conference tailback was ruled out of his second straight game by the Hokies today as Williams continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Hamstring injuries have a nasty habit of lingering for indefinite amounts of time, and aside from trying to help the healing process along with therapy like ultrasound stimulation, it really does come down to nothing more than patience and careful monitoring. 

Fortunately, though, there may be no position in all of college football where a certain team has an embarrassment of riches than Virginia Tech has at running back. Even without Williams, Virginia Tech can depend on Darren Evans (2nd team all-ACC rusher as a freshman) and David Wilson (Virginia Tech's most productive rusher this season). Considering QB Tyrod Taylor and FB Josh Oglesby are both still healthy, the Virginia Tech backfield is still one of the most formidable in the nation.

Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Ryan Williams out this weekend for Virginia Tech

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Those wondering about the availability of Virginia Tech's all-conference tailback Ryan Williams may wonder no further; the all-conference tailback was ruled out of his second straight game by the Hokies today as Williams continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Hamstring injuries have a nasty habit of lingering for indefinite amounts of time, and aside from trying to help the healing process along with therapy like ultrasound stimulation, it really does come down to nothing more than patience and careful monitoring. 

Fortunately, though, there may be no position in all of college football where a certain team has an embarrassment of riches than Virginia Tech has at running back. Even without Williams, Virginia Tech can depend on Darren Evans (2nd team all-ACC rusher as a freshman) and David Wilson (Virginia Tech's most productive rusher this season). Considering QB Tyrod Taylor and FB Josh Oglesby are both still healthy, the Virginia Tech backfield is still one of the most formidable in the nation.

Posted on: September 25, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Hokies up 7-0 on BC at half

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While not having Ryan Williams available this week seems to be slowing down the Virginia Tech offense a bit this week, his absence hasn't stopped them from carrying a 7-0 lead into halftime against Boston College in Chestnut Hill.  Though they've been given quite a bit of help from Boston College miscues.

Darren Evans is responsible for Virginia Tech's lone score, punching it into the end zone from three yards out on the first play of the second quarter.  Also, while he hasn't been spectacular, Tyrod Taylor has been efficient without his top running back behind him, completing seven of his nine pass attempts for 109 yards.

Though the real story of this game has been Boston College's mistakes in the red zone.  After driving down the field midway through the first quarter the Eagles had a first and goal from the Tech ten-yard line.  After failing to get in on their first two plays, quarterback Dave Shinskie was intercepted by Jayron Hosley in the end zone.

Then to make matters worse, at the end of the half the Eagles had a first and goal with 15 seconds left in the half and no timeouts.  Shinskie dropped back to pass, but after being unable to find an open receiver, he took off for the end zone.

Only to come up a foot short and be tackled in bounds keeping the clock running.  So instead of being up at least 10-7, Shinskie's mistakes have BC down seven at the half.


 
 
 
 
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