ATLANTA (AP)—Sean Glennon wore a Georgia Tech jersey. There was no doubt he was playing for Virginia Tech.
Wearing a replacement jersey provided by the home team when his own disappeared, Glennon threw two long touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead No. 11 Virginia Tech to a 27-3 win over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
“It was funny,” Glennon said. “That was the jersey of a school I almost went to” coming out of high school.
The Hokies (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) bounced back just fine from their shocking collapse against Boston College, when they squandered a 10-point lead in the final minutes.
Glennon made his second straight start in place of freshman Tyrod Taylor, who was sidelined again by a sprained ankle. The replacement starter, who lost the job to Taylor after the second game, made the most of it by throwing for 296 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Justin Harper and a 71-yarder to Josh Morgan.
Virginia Tech moved into a first-place tie with rival Virginia in the Coastal Division. The teams will meet in the final game of the regular season.
“I think I’ve been playing well,” Glennon said. “But the coaches will go with the option they think they will win with.”
Georgia Tech (5-4, 2-4) saw its slim hopes of making a second straight trip to the ACC championship game go down the drain. The Yellow Jackets were simply horrible after jumping ahead 3-0 on their second possession.
Rubbing more salt in Georgia Tech’s wounds: Glennon was among four Virginia Tech players whose jersey mysteriously disappeared before the game, forcing them to suit up in the Yellow Jackets’ white road jerseys.
Glennon’s name was written in magic marker on the back, and the home team’s nickname was blacked out across the front of the shirt, which was trimmed in black and gold instead of maroon and orange.
“Branden (Ore) wrote it on there first in caps and lower case,” Glennon said. “I then did it in all caps.”
Maybe Taylor Bennett should have worn a Virginia Tech jersey. The Georgia Tech quarterback threw four interceptions, and even a 35-yard completion to James Johnson went awry when the Georgia Tech receiver was stripped of the ball and the Hokies recovered.
“I’ve never thrown four picks,” Bennett said, shaking his head. “Not anywhere.”
Victor Harris had two of the interceptions.
Freshman Josh Nesbitt also got a shot at quarterback, but he overthrew a wide-open Johnson on what would have been a certain touchdown. For good measure, Nesbitt threw the Yellow Jackets’ fifth interception late in the game.
By then, most Georgia Tech fans were already heading for home. Those who remained booed embattled coach Chan Gailey when he was shown on the video board making a public-service announcement during the fourth quarter.
“That really hurt me,” said Johnson, the lone bright spot for the Georgia Tech offense with seven catches for 136 yards. “I’m pretty sure it hurt every other player, too.”
Virginia Tech was primed for a letdown after squandering what appeared to be a sure victory against unbeaten Boston College.
The Hokies dominated on defense nearly the entire game, but Matt Ryan led an improbable comeback with two touchdowns in the final 2:11 for a 14-10 victory that ruined Virginia Tech’s of getting into the national championship race.
Coach Frank Beamer kept reminding his team that they were still positioned for a run at the ACC title, and the players clearly took that message to heart.
After Jud Dunleavy booted a 28-yard field goal that it at 3, the Hokies seized the momentum by surprising the Yellow Jackets with an onside kick. Dunleavy barely kicked the ball, ran along behind it for 10 yards and fell on it himself.
“I told Frank after the game that was a gutsy call,” Gailey said.
Virginia Tech took advantage of the recovery by driving for the go-ahead touchdown, a 2-yard run by Glennon early in the second quarter. The Hokies made it 17-3 lead when Glennon went deep to Harper for another TD.
Even though Georgia Tech blocked a field goal attempt just before halftime, giving the Yellow Jackets somewhat of an emotional boost, Virginia Tech wasn’t going to let this one get away.
Glennon sent most of the fans scurrying for the exits when he tossed up a long pass to Morgan, who leaped over Jahi Word-Daniels at the 30 to make the catch, then coasted to the end zone to complete the 71-yard play.
Virginia Tech finally let up at the end, choosing not to run another play from the Georgia Tech 4 as the clock ran out.
The Yellow Jackets struggled offensively without their top two running backs, including star Tashard Choice. Third-stringer Jamaal Evans got his first career start but managed only 10 yards on six carries. Freshman Jonathan Dwyer was more effective, rushing for 68 yards.
“When your running game is not working, you’ve got to go to the air,” Bennett said. “There’s only two ways to score on offense.”
Neither worked for the Yellow Jackets.