Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

Sean Glennon is a redshirt senior who, barring injury and collapse, will have the starting quarterback job all to himself this season. The last time a redshirt senior had sole possession of the Hokies' starting QB job was 1998 when Al Clark led Tech to a 9-3 record and a win over Alabama in the Music City Bowl.

That team was talented and young. They started the season 5-0 with impressive road wins over Clemson, Miami and Boston College. But Clark was hurt before the Boston College game and missed the next three games, including an embarrassing 28-24 loss to Temple.

The Hokies were 5-0 and the Owls 0-6 going into that game. Clark was a capable but unimpressive quarterback who had the reigns for parts of 1997 and all of 1998. His last season included three of the most jaw-dropping, heart-breaking losses in Tech history.

The Temple game, a last-second loss at Syracuse and an incredible 22-point comeback win by Virginia in Blacksburg. All three hurt and all three taught the Hokies something different. The Hokies' most difficult games were all on the road in 1998. They passed most of the tests, but fell at the Hokie House of Horrors in Syracuse. They also dropped home games against teams they should have easily defeated.

1998 was also the year a highly-touted quarterback from the 757 took a redshirt season and sat on the bench. When Clark went down, there was thought of pulling the redshirt off the freshman, but Michael Vick would have to wait another year before being unleashed on college football (pun intended).

This year is a slightly different scenario. Glennon is a better quarterback than Clark was and Taylor has a year of experience. But there are a lot of similarities. The 2008 Hokies are young and talented, most of their tough games are on the road and there are upsets waiting at home.

The Coastal Division is very poor in the ACC this year and I still expect Glennon to lead the Hokies to the division title. Some fans may be shocked or angry that Tyrod isn't going to play this season, but we've been down this road before.

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