Two Virginia Prep Titans Square Off Under Center Saturday in Blacksburg

Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium, two of the best-ever Virginia high school QB products will lead their respective teams when NC State visits Virginia Tech.  Tyrod Taylor, a Hampton High School graduate, has paced the Hokies this year and has improved a great deal in his third year.  He’s become an effective leader for the Hokie offense, an efficient passer and is always a threat to run on his own, often for big yardage.

For the Wolfpack, Richmond Collegiate graduate Russell Wilson will lead a potent NC State offense.  Last year’s All-ACC first team QB has grown quite a bit in his second year under center.  In high school, As a senior in 2006, he threw for 3,009 yards, 34 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Wilson also rushed for 1,132 yards and 18 touchdowns. That year, he was named the conference player of the year, and also named an all-conference and all-state player. He was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine for his performance in the state championship game win.

Tyrod Taylor

With a penchant for producing ACC offensive players of the week, it’s pretty easy to tell that Virginia Tech’s players are relishing the thought of playing against the NC State “Just Say No” Defense:

N.C. State’s stats bode well for opposing QBs

TaylorIf N.C. State’s first 10 games are any indication, [Tyrod] Taylor’s passing skills will have a chance to shine Saturday. The Wolfpack (4-6, 1-5 ACC) rank 99th nationally in points allowed (30.9 per game) and opposing quarterbacks have completed 63 percent of their passes for 215 yards per game.

Opponents have thrown 17 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.

That’s good for Taylor, who is riding a streak of 81 consecutive passes without a pick.

It’s his second streak of 80-plus this season. Taylor, who ranks 16th nationally in pass efficiency, has thrown 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions for the No. 16 Hokies (7-3, 4-2).

While experience has been the key to his success, youth is the most logical explanation for N.C. State’s struggles. Three of four starters in the secondary are freshmen.

“That’s something we’re going to try to take advantage of,” said Jarrett Boykin, who leads the Hokies with 30 catches for 551 yards.

“We wouldn’t mind having another field day from the wide receivers.”

Year G GS Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yds TD Int Pct Eff Att Yds Avg TD
2007 11 5 72 134 927 5 3 53.7 119.7 102 429 4.2 6
2008 12 10 99 173 1036 2 7 57.2 103.3 147 738 5.0 7
2009 10 10 109 194 1720 12 3 56.2 148.0 88 292 3.3 4
Career 33 25 280 501 3,683 19 13 55.9 125.0 337 1,459 4.3 17

Russell Wilson

VT QB Tyrod Taylor was recruited by Frank Beamer and his staff over Russell Wilson, who hails from Richmond.  Wilson, for his part, got a feature in his hometown paper.  In that article,

russellWilsonEven after Wilson’s impressive first season — 177.7 passing yards per game, 17 touchdowns, one interception — he still had to compete during spring practices with redshirt freshman Mike Glennon, the younger brother of former Tech quarterback Sean Glennon. As Wilson battled for his job, he was recovering after tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the bowl game.

Dana Bible, N.C. State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, wanted Wilson to work on “being able to use all parts of the offense. If the read said to throw it to your second receiver, then that’s where it went to.”

Instead of doing that last season, Wilson might have run. “That was really sort of the plan,” Bible said. “We promoted that in a lot of ways. Not all the times. But we promoted: Use your feet more so. That’s not the case this year. He’s much more complete as a quarterback than he was in year one.”

The article went on to say that Wilson could potentially end his career as one of the most successful QB’s in NC State’s history – heady company considering that State has produced three NFL starters in Philip Rivers, Roman Gabriel and Erik Kramer.  All three were highly successful in college, as is Wilson.  But does Russell Wilson’s best future lay in baseball?  The numbers don’t indicate as much, but NC State head baseball coach Elliott Avent said otherwise last fall. “A lot of scouts said Russell could have been taken in the third or fourth round [of the ’07 MLB draft] and were making calls trying to get him to sign,”he said. “I have no doubt he’ll make it to the big leagues.”

As for choosing between baseball and football, Wilson is non-committal at this point.  His draft position for Major League Baseball will of course hinge on his play on the diamond for the Wolfpack this spring, and it may well turn out that expectations of Wilson’s move into the professional ranks could be premature.  He has stated publicly that money is not a problem for him or his family.  He also has said that he would like to be an all star in both football and baseball:  “I want to be a Hall of Fame major-league baseball player, and I want to be a Hall of Fame quarterback as well.”

'09 Football Baseball NCS Football Tom O'Brien

15 Responses to Two Virginia Prep Titans Square Off Under Center Saturday in Blacksburg

  1. 66pack 11/18/2009 at 9:20 AM #

    VT will produce 50+ points and 550+ yds offense and ncsu will produce another ACC player of the week.Give Archer a break for there are about 20 div 1 teams with worst def statistics though i doubt 20 worst defenses.

  2. Clarksa 11/18/2009 at 9:30 AM #

    I’ll bet that the freshman RB for VT does more damage than Taylor does this week.

  3. BJD95 11/18/2009 at 10:44 AM #

    If Taylor throws double digit passes, i will be shocked.

  4. Sw0rdf1sh 11/18/2009 at 11:27 AM #

    I’ve always thought that in a head to head situation Wilson > Taylor.

    However against our secondary and it’s current display, Harrison Beck might have a field day against us.

    Sad I thought this game might actually mean something special many months ago……

  5. packalum44 11/18/2009 at 11:59 AM #

    Taylor sucks.

  6. Ski Wolf 11/18/2009 at 1:55 PM #

    ^^Same here Sw0rd, couldn’t wait for this game over the Summer. Sigh…

  7. ncsufan13 11/18/2009 at 2:52 PM #

    If Russell Wilson was backed up by an effective running game like Taylor, I think he would clearly be the better QB. As it stands now RW is asked to do almost everything for our offense.

  8. skitchwolf 11/18/2009 at 4:42 PM #

    Speaking of running game, is it just me or does Toney Baker look considerably more effective than Jamelle Eugene this year? Jamelle has his moments, but Toney is just about never taken down in first contact. Also, I know that Bible and TOB are trying to protect and “grow” Russell as a QB, but don’t the W’s and L’s mean anything? Shouldn’t he be running more when “Plan A” clearly hasn’t worked? I know we have no defense, and maybe that is why they’re not risking Russell’s health in a sure-losing effort. Still, if Russell’s legs could keep the opposing offense off the field more often, wouldn’t the defense benefit as well?

  9. Alpha Wolf 11/18/2009 at 7:00 PM #

    It’s not just you, skitch. I think Eugene is hurt, because he is not the bruiser he was last year. He shared time with Andre Brown then, so I don’t think it’s because his feelings are hurt or anything.

    As it stands now RW is asked to do almost everything for our offense.

    So you think that Toney Baker is ineffective this year, 13?

  10. ncsufan13 11/18/2009 at 7:15 PM #

    ^ Tony Baker isn’t given an opportunity to play like he should. He’s is a great back, but not a good fit for an offense that rarely does anything but hand the ball off from the shotgun in terms of rushing. He doesn’t have a lead blocker, nor does he get to run the ball up the gut with Russell under center.

    In short, I don’t think our offense makes good use of a big bruising back like Baker. This could be because our offensive line just isn’t good enough, or that the coaches don’t think Russell is capable of playing out of the I formation, or we don’t have anyone who can play fullback well, but in any case we haven’t had a strong rushing attack.

    For instance, look at PSU, WVU, and Oregon. They usually play out of shotgun like us, but in contrast their backs are used far more effectively and have big YPC averages. Noel Devine, Evan Royster, and LaMichael James simply are not built like Tony Baker, and are better fits for that style of running.

  11. 61Packer 11/18/2009 at 10:23 PM #

    Not to change the subject, but the Georgia Southern at Florida game ended a few minutes ago, and UF won, 69-49. Both those teams visit us, with Ga. Southern’s game at Reynolds. Florida is pretty good and had a sub get a double-double (15-12). However, it was a 1-point game at the half and was still contested midway the second half before the Gators pulled away. For those who expect an automatic W when Ga. Sou. comes in, don’t. They’re quick and athletic and may really give us a struggle.

  12. packalum44 11/18/2009 at 10:29 PM #

    Toney is much better than Eugene. They switch series for political reasons (JE is a senior blah blah). Toney will play Sundays whereas JE will not.

  13. primacyone 11/19/2009 at 10:18 AM #

    For the sake of RW’s Virginia homecoming, I think we should let him punt this week as well. I’m sure he can kick it more than six yards, so if we let him punt it should not hurt us in any way.

  14. iBeenPacked 11/19/2009 at 10:46 AM #

    Russell and Tony have carried the team this year and Tony’s story should become a movie some day. I really hope that he gets another year.
    Mattes was a good story until he succumbed to the wolfpack curse.

    btw – has no one ever notice that both Russell and Wilson are athletic gear companies?


  1. Around the Interwebs | CollegeGameBalls: College Football at its Finest - 11/18/2009

    […] even though they’ll never be on the field at the same time it’s all about them. Both quarterbacks are Virginia high school legends and this could be the first and last time they joust in […]

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