- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 24, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Still in uniform, Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon sat in a conference room corner yesterday dutifully answering questions about the Hokies’ 29-13 win over Cincinnati for the reporters surrounding him.

Catching a glimpse of a television overhead, he hesitated.

“I’ve got to watch that,” he said after a moment, allowing himself a smile, then went on patiently explaining about passing routes and different kinds of coverage.

But to anybody who had seen him throw that 47-yard touchdown pass to Justin Harper in the beginning of the third quarter, even on the replay he had stopped to watch afterward, the sophomore already had given his best material.

Host Virginia Tech (4-0) trailed 10-5 after a first half in which clumsy offensive line play allowed the sophomore Glennon to be sacked three times for 25 lost yards while the holes closed up too quickly for standout tailback Branden Ore, who was held to 18 yards on seven carries.

“I just encouraged them,” Glennon said. “It doesn’t do any good for me to whine and complain at them. I just say, ‘Let’s go, you’re better — we can pick this up, let’s go, give me a little protection and we’re going to make some plays.’”

On their opening series of the half, Glennon rolled out to throw one short pass each to receivers Josh Hyman and Josh Morgan. Then Ore found a gap good for a first-down run to the Cincinnati 47. Backpedaling a few steps, the young quarterback heaved it to the right side of the end zone and Harper.

“I actually like throwing on the run,” Glennon said. “I’m pretty accurate on the run and it kind of opens things up when everything’s moving one way. And it keeps the defense on their toes, they can’t just come right at you up the middle. … We kind of worked it out and then we got to go back to straight drop back on that touchdown.”

After only five first-half points, on Morgan’s blocked punt for a safety and Brandon Pace’s 37-yard field goal after the offense bogged down on a 10-play drive, the Virginia Tech linemen needed to hold off the Bearcats defense.

“It does something to you,” junior tackle Duane Brown said. “Seeing your offense is not moving the ball. We all just had to dig inside ourselves.”

Seeing the touchdown did something for the Hokies as well. Glennon called it the momentum changer. Even though Cincinnati (1-3) took a one-point lead on its next possession, the Tech defense held the Bearcats to a field goal on a 70-yard drive. And the offense finally was able to earn yardage, even if it still struggled to put together lengthy drives. Running behind a more cohesive line, Ore ripped off 152 yards in the second half with a touchdown that put the Hokies up 22-13. He also had a long touchdown run brought back on a penalty.

“I just thought when we came out at halftime we had a greater focus and gave Sean better protection,” said Tech center Danny McGrath. “And the holes we gave Branden Ore — but you don’t need to give much of a hole to Branden Ore. He’ll find some little crease and get out of there.”

The prized Hokies defense also resurfaced in the second half, allowing only Kevin Lovell’s 46-yard field goal. Defensive back Macho Harris halted the Bearcats late drive attempts with a pair of interceptions, the first of which he took back for a 72-yard touchdown — effectively ending any chance of a Cincinnati comeback and ensuring that he and Glennon both have a reason to look forward to watching replays.

“I mean, that’s just about every player’s dream, to get two picks,” Harris said. “Every DB’s dream, anyway, to get two picks like that or something like that. I don’t know, I couldn’t imagine it was going to happen, but it did.”

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