ACC Football: Virginia Tech and Tyrod Taylor Are Best ACC Has To Offer
There was no doubt coming into the season which team would be the ACC's best this year; Virginia Tech. But then a loss in the final minutes of the game against Boise State followed by the worst loss in school history against James Madison, the Hokies went from the top to the bottom.
A young defense and a team that generally starts slow is what led to the Hokies early season woes. Add to the mix an under-performing offensive line and Virginia Tech had fallen from the top 10 out of the top 25.
It was a long road back, about five weeks, but the Hokies are ranked in the top 25 again, they're 5-0 and rolling on all cylinders heading into the judgement month of their 2010 campaign; November.
However, there's one reason they're where they are right now; Tyrod Taylor. You can say what you want about the Hokies senior quarterback, but Taylor has been by far the best and most consistent player for the Hokies and arguably the best in the ACC.
Taylor doesn't put up the passing numbers like Russell Wilson, but he doesn't have to. No other quarterback has had a more complete season than Taylor so far. He leads the Hokies in rushing, which is hard to believe considering the three running backs the Hokies have on their roster.
Taylor has filled the void of an injured Ryan Williams, and his injury has given David Wilson a chance to catch his stride and it has allowed Darren Evans to gain a lot of carries after coming off his ACL injury.
Taylor leads the ACC in passer rating, has a completion percentage over 62 percent and has thrown 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Considering how the offensive line played in the first five weeks, those numbers are very impressive.
Now, many will argue that Florida State is the best team in the ACC, which is valid and really it's a coin toss. The Hokies are coming off the more impressive win after the Seminoles struggled with Boston College this week, and if these two teams keep it up they should decide who's the best in the ACC in Charlotte come December.
But you have to put the Hokies at the top of the ACC power rankings for this week because they put together their most complete game on offense of the year, and it had to be a wake up call to every defensive coordinator in the ACC.
The Hokies had eight offensive drives in the first half and scored seven touchdowns. Taylor had most of his 292 passing yards in the first half and threw for three scores. Most of the starters played only a few snaps for the Hokies in the second half after scoring 49 points in the first half, which was the second most points scored by a Frank Beamer-coached team in one half during his tenure at Virginia Tech.
The defense still has room for improvement, mostly in the rushing game. Wake Forest's Josh Harris had 241 yards rushing, and ran for an 87-yard score. This has to get better before hosting Georgia Tech, but the Hokies are dominating every other facet of the game.
However, if the Hokies offense continues to play at a level this high they will go undefeated for the rest of the season and head to Charlotte for the ACC title game.
Florida State and Virginia Tech are playing the best football in the ACC right now and are slated to meet in the ACC Championship. These two teams are very similar in the fact that both have good offenses, but their defenses' are suspect at times.
For now, it's Virginia Tech, Florida State and then everyone else. Miami is struggling, North Carolina could be the spoiler and Georgia Tech is always dangerous, but none of these three teams are as complete as the Seminoles or the Hokies.
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