Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Glennon's job not in jeopardy
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Blog: Andy Bitter
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- Recapping the Hokies’ spring: Specialists
- Join the Hokie football conversation on Andy's blog
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Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer wants to make one thing perfectly clear: There is no quarterback controversy in Blacksburg.
While backup Ike Whitaker was inserted for a series early in the second quarter of Saturday night's 36-6 romp over Southern Mississippi, third-year sophomore Sean Glennon remains secure as the Hokies' No. 1 QB as they prepare for Thursday night's pivotal ACC clash with No. 10 Clemson at Lane Stadium.
"Sean is definitely the starter," Beamer said Monday. "He's done a good job for us and he did a good job the other night. We're just trying to figure out what Ike can do and do some things with him."
Saying that Whitaker is too talented not to be on the field at times, Beamer and his offensive staff would like to use the athletic redshirt freshman in certain game situations. While Glennon basically is a pocket passer, the more mobile Whitaker is as likely to run as throw the ball. In practice last week, Tech worked Whitaker in an option running game, a move that would give the offense more versatility in certain downs and distances on the field.
"I think Ike can help this team," Beamer said following Saturday's game. "He's got a gear to him that can make people miss. We're going to sit down as an offensive staff and decide how we want to do it" against Clemson.
After the offense went three-and-out on his second-quarter series, Whitaker replaced Glennon with 7:54 left and Tech leading 29-6. Following another three-and-out series, Whitaker guided the Hokies 48 yards for a touchdown.
Whitaker ran three times for 21 yards and completed a 12-yard pass on third-and-12 at the Southern Miss 26-yard line. He then threw a pair of blocks that helped freshman tailback Kenny Lewis break a 14-yard touchdown run on the next play.
Glennon, who beat out Whitaker and third-year sophomore Cory Holt for the starting job in August, said he had some reservations at first when quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain informed him last week of the plans with Whitaker.
"Maybe I misinterpreted or overexaggerated, but I kind of took it as a shot on me in the beginning," Glennon said after Saturday's game.
"But Coach O'Cain said, 'One hundred percent it's not a shot on you. ... You're still our guy and I don't see that changing.' He said, 'We just have a talented guy who's been spending the whole season on the sidelines and we just want to get him a few plays to see if he can do a few things.'
"I think it's just a little mix-up to keep teams on their toes. Ike can do some things with his feet; I can't argue with that. As long as I'm out there the majority of the game, I'm not going to complain."
Top backs on display
Thursday's national ESPN telecast will feature the ACC's No. 1 and 2 rushers in Clemson's James Davis (961 yards) and Tech's Branden Ore (736 yards).
Davis, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound sophomore from Atlanta, ran for a career-high 216 yards on only 20 carries in Clemson's 31-7 romp over then-No. 13 Georgia Tech on Saturday. Davis' 120.1 rushing yards per game ranks ninth in the country and his 16 touchdowns ranks second. Meanwhile, Ore is 14th nationally in rushing (105.1 ypg) with 10 TDs.
Davis, who was recruited by Tech, may not be Beamer's biggest concern. Clemson's No. 2 tailback, freshman C.J. Spiller, has Beamer plenty worried with his sprinter's speed. Spinner, a first-team Parade All-American from Lake Butler, Fla., scored on a 50-yard run and a 50-yard reception against Georgia Tech.
"You watch Spiller and you're talking about a guy who can motor. So throw him right in there with the other two," Beamer said.
Some already have compared Spiller with ex-Southern California star Reggie Bush, last year's Heisman Trophy winner.
"I think you can make that comparison and people will think you know what you're talking about," Beamer said. "He can stop on a dime and switch over, has a burst to him. He is totally explosive."
When told Clemson expects to have star wideout Chansi Stuckey, who suffered a broken foot in practice on Oct. 2, back for Thursday's game, Beamer laughed and said: "Just the news I needed to hear." ... How good is Clemson? The Tigers rank in the national top 10 in 10 of the 17 major statistical categories charted by the NCAA. ... Ore's 70-yard touchdown run vs. Southern Mississippi was Tech's longest play from scrimmage this season. ... The Hokies' Nov. 4 game at Miami will be shown on WSET and kick off at 8 p.m.
Glennon's 2006 passing numbers