October 25, 2008
Hokies lose two quarterbacks, game at Florida State
By Jimmy Robertson
Virginia Tech (5-3) 1030720
(24) Florida State (6-1) 01014630
  • Doak Campbell - 81,876
  • Passing: Sean Glennon 133 yds
  • Rushing: Darren Evans 77 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 89 yds

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Despite getting some solid play on both sides of the ball, the Virginia Tech Hokies couldn’t overcome losing two quarterbacks to injury and Florida State’s big plays, and fell to No. 24-ranked Seminoles 30-20 in an ACC game played in front of 81,876 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Tech lost for the second straight time in ACC play, falling to 5-3 overall, 2-2 in the league. The Hokies haven’t won in Tallahassee since 1974 – a span of six games. Florida State won its fourth straight game, improving to 6-1 overall, 3-1 in the ACC and moving into first place in the league’s Atlantic Division.

Things did not go well for the Hokies from the start. On the first play from scrimmage, Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor scrambled to his right and was jerked down by FSU linebacker Toddrick Verdell. Taylor injured his left ankle on the play and immediately came out of the game. He did not return.

Back-up Sean Glennon, a redshirt senior from Centreville, Va., who lost his starting job earlier this season, then went down with a left fibula injury after being sacked by FSU’s Dekoda Watson with 5:47 left in the third quarter and the Hokies trailing 17-13. Tech then went with seldom-used Cory Holt, who finished the game.

Initial X-Rays on Glennon were negative and the status of both signal callers won’t be updated until Sunday.

Glennon sparked the Hokies to an early advantage in this one. Tech grabbed a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter when a 16-yard punt return by Macho Harris gave the Hokies great field position and the offense converted that into points. Dustin Keys nailed a 41-yard field goal with 5:51 left in the first quarter to give Tech the early three-point lead.

The Hokies added to that lead on their next possession. They drove 64 yards in seven plays, with the big play coming on a 14-yard pass from Glennon to receiver Jarrett Boykin. The Hokies got 15 more on that play when FSU cornerback Korey Mangum received a face mask penalty, giving Tech a first down at the FSU 21. Three plays later, Glennon barreled in from a yard out and Keys’ extra point gave the Hokies a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

FSU tied the score at following a 39-yard touchdown run by Antone Smith and a 50-yard field goal by Graham Gano. But the Hokies, behind Glennon, regained the lead with an impressive drive right before halftime. Glennon completed 4-of-7 for 50 yards on the drive, as the Hokies marched 66 yards in 13 plays. Tech settled for a 20-yard field goal by Keys with three seconds remaining in the first half to take a 13-10 lead into the locker room.

Florida State, however, regained the lead midway through the third quarter and a costly penalty on reserve Eddie Whitley turned out to be a momentum changer. The Hokies’ defense forced FSU to punt from its own 31, but Whitley, a true freshman, ran into Gano as he attempted to punt and received a 15-yard roughing penalty, giving FSU a first down.

On the next play, FSU quarterback Christian Ponder threw a 48-yard pass to receiver Greg Carr to the Tech 6, and two plays later, Ponder fired a 4-yard touchdown pass to Taiwan Easterling. Gano’s extra point gave the Seminoles a 17-13 lead with 6:05 left in the third quarter – their first lead of the game.

Glennon’s injury then occurred 17 seconds later and that seemed to take the fire out of the Hokies. Tech ultimately punted on the drive, and the Seminoles scored on the ensuing possession when Marcus Sims took it in from a yard out to give FSU a 24-13 lead. A pair of Gano field goals in the fourth quarter were sandwiched around a Holt touchdown pass to tight end Andre Smith to account for the final score.

For the game, Glennon paced the Hokies, completing 9-of-16 passes for 133 yards, and tailback Darren Evans rushed for 77 yards on 15 carries. Holt threw for 28 yards and a score. The Hokies finished with 243 yards of total offense.

Defensively, Tech got a nice game from whip linebacker Cody Grimm, who had two sacks. Brett Warren led the way with nine tackles.

The Hokies now get a much-needed off week before returning home to play Maryland in a Thursday night affair at Lane Stadium. That game will mark the end of a 53-day span in which Tech has played one home game (WKU). Kickoff for the Maryland game is slated for 7:45 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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