For a moment during the third quarter of Saturday’s ACC Championship game between Virginia Tech and Florida State, it appeared as though Tyrod Taylor might be human.
The senior quarterback from Hampton, Va., had the nation’s number one pass rush in his face with seemingly no room to make a play. Even Taylor, who did his best imitation of Clark Kent transforming into Superman all season long, looked like he might not be able to escape the defense this time.
However, Taylor spun to his left nearly 20 yards from the original line of scrimmage, avoided both of the Seminoles’ defensive ends, and scrambled for a 12-yard gain.
That play made it pretty evident the ACC made the right choice for its player of the year.
“After being named ACC Player of the Year, (Taylor’s) first response was to go back out tonight and make sure that everybody was right,” said Bryan Stinespring, offensive coordinator. “He said that earlier in the week. He wanted to come out and win this game and make sure that he put a stamp on it. I think he stamped it. I think he stamped it and he stomped on it.”
Taylor continued to impress statistically against Florida State, throwing for 263 yards and three scores while adding one on the ground. Taylor’s second touchdown toss to Danny Coale was his 22nd of the year, breaking the single-season record at Tech previously set by Maurice DeShazo in 1993.
Although there was debate as to whether Taylor deserved the award, considering Tech’s early season losses to Boise State and James Madison, he made certain those detractors were silenced.
“That was on my mind the whole night,” Taylor said. “Some people may feel like I didn’t deserve it. I felt like I deserved it. My teammates felt like I deserved it, the coaches felt like it. So they coached the game where I could go out there and showcase my talent, and that’s what I did.”