BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech turned into Tyrod Taylor's team on Saturday, and the sophomore quarterback did nothing to raise any doubt that he's ready for the job.
Taylor led the Hokies' youth movement by running for 74 yards and a touchdown and leading a late scoring drive to a winning field goal as Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech 20-17.
The touchdown highlighted Taylor's abilities, coming 10 seconds before halftime on a designed pass to the tight end that he instead ran in from 2 yards out on a draw play.
'We were too close to the goal line for me to throw it away,' Taylor said of the run, on which he ignored instructions to throw the ball away if necessary. Virginia Tech had no timeouts remaining and would have been pleased to settle for a chip shot field goal.
The play also showed why Taylor has emerged, at least for now, as the only quarterback for a young Hokies team with an offensive line that continues to struggle. Last week, Taylor and Sean Glennon shared the position, but Glennon never left the bench Saturday.
'I think for right now, this is where we are,' coach Frank Beamer said of Taylor's ascension to the position only two weeks after the plan was to redshirt him this season.
'I think this is the best way for our football team to operate,' Beamer said. He said Glennon will get back in the mix as the line and the youthful receiving corps improves.
The Hokies (2-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) did plenty to give their fans reason for optimism after a shaky start to the season, one that had even the docile Beamer agitated.
Darren Evans ran for 94 yards and a touchdown, and broke off a 26-yard run on the go-ahead drive, and the defense forced three turnovers and then held on in a harrowing finish.
The Yellow Jackets (2-1, 1-1) had a chance to win it or tie, but Josh Nesbitt overthrew Roddy Jones behind the Hokies' defense on a 3rd-and-7, then was sacked by Purnell Sturdivant on fourth down with 2:15 to play, one of the few times Nesbitt didn't get away all day.
'It was real nice. In my head, I was just thinking 'big play,' Sturdivant said.
The sack was the Hokies' only one on a day when Nesbitt ran 28 times for 151 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-18, and often left defenders grasping at air.