Will Saturday be Tyrod Taylor's breakout performance?
Judging from his bulging eyes when the stat was presented during a Tuesday press conference, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor had no idea he's currently ranked No. 6 in the country in terms of yards per completion through four games.
Maybe it's because when it comes to overall statistics, nothing Taylor has done thus far sticks out all that much. He's been efficient, with a passer rating of 165.5, a completion percentage above 65 percent and just two interceptions. But he's got just five touchdowns, and he's only averaging about 186 yards and 19 pass attempts per game. Perhaps the most notable part of Taylor's game this year has been his legs -- he's the Hokies leading rusher right now with 201 yards.
That, though, could change this weekend when Virginia Tech takes on No. 23 North Carolina State. While much of the talk this week has been about the exploits of Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson, it is Taylor who could stand to have a monumental performance. With a victory Saturday, he would tie Bryan Randall as Virginia Tech's all-time winningest quarterback.
"I’m not really trying to break anybody’s record or anything, I’m just out there to do what’s best for the team, put my team in the best situation I can and get a win ultimately," said Taylor, who claimed he had no idea about the record until it was brought up by a reporter.
Taylor hinted Tuesday that the Hokies have noticed some ways to take advantage of North Carolina State's secondary just like they did last year during a 38-10 victory in Blacksburg. In that game, Taylor only completed 9 of 17 passes for 197 yards, but was able to connect with wide receiver Jarrett Boykin six times for 164 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown and another 42-yard completion.
The Wolfpack's 42nd-ranked pass defense this year seems solid at first glance, but a closer look reveals it may be the unit's weakness. They're currently allowing 7.7 yards per pass attempt, which puts them in a tie for 96th in the country in that category. In a 30-19 win over Cincinnati two weeks ago, North Carolina State gave up 310 passing yards and may have provided Virginia Tech a template for this weekend.
"They’re not playing as much man as last year, but as far as the coverages ... I think our wide receivers have a good chance of going out there and making plays and that’s what we plan to do," Taylor said.
| September 30, 2010; 1:58 PM ET
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