Beau Warren In, Vince Hall Out, Tyrod Taylor’s Status Uncertain
center Ryan Shuman, who was injured early in the second quarter against Boston
College, has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and won’t play against
Georgia Tech. Shuman is also questionable for Tech’s game against Florida State
on November 10th.
The Hokies played guard Matt Welsh at the center position for three series
against Boston College. Welsh had been working out at center in practice for a
few weeks, and the coaching staff decided to give the 295-pounder the nod over
270-pound Beau Warren, a redshirt freshman who has been at the center spot
Welsh and QB Sean Glennon had two bad snap exchanges, one of which resulted
in a turnover on the Hokie 20 yard line. Tech’s defense held BC to no points on
the possession, but the Tech coaches inserted Warren into the game, and he
played the rest of the way.
Warren will now get the start against Georgia Tech’s complicated blitzing
defense, with Welsh backing him up. Warren is listed at 275 pounds, but Frank
Beamer said in a recent BeamerBall.com interview that Warren weighs 270, which
is 45 pounds less than Ryan Shuman.
Vince Hall’s broken wrist has been slower to heal than anticipated, and he
will not return for Georgia Tech. Hall had a pin inserted in his wrist, and the
area became infected, requiring removal of the pin and a new cast. Tech trainer
Mike Goforth described Hall as "iffy" for Florida State on November
10th. (Speaking of the Seminoles, FSU QB Xavier Lee has been suspended for two
games — including the matchup with the Hokies — for skipping class, so VT will
face Drew Weatherford in Lane Stadium.)
Tyrod Taylor’s ankle sprain has improved greatly, and like last week against
BC, he’ll be a game time decision Thursday. Both Taylor and Sean Glennon have
been taking snaps with the first team offense this week.
Virginia Tech’s offensive struggles, and the corresponding stats associated
with them (96th in rushing, 102nd in passing, 112th in total offense, 111th in
sacks allowed) have been well chronicled, but what about the Hokie defense,
which finished first in the nation last year in total defense?
Despite surrendering 598 yards and 48 points to LSU, the Hokie defense is
still strong statistically.
Tech’s Defensive Stats
|Rush Defense||89.75 ypg||10th|
|Pass Eff. Defense||101.70||12th|
|Pass Defense||214.25 ypg||51st|
|Total Defense||304 ypg||15th|
|Scoring Defense||15.75 ppg||8th|
|Tackles for Loss||8.0 tflpg||14th|
In other statistical categories, VT is 31st in the nation in net punting and
11th in punt returns. Among individual players, Eddie Royal is 8th in the
country in punt returns (16.6 ypr), and Chris Ellis is tied for 17th in sacks
with 0.81 sacks per game.
The Coastal Division Race
Virginia Tech (6-2 overall, 3-1 ACC) is currently second in the ACC’s Coastal
Division, a half-game behind the Virginia Cavaliers (7-2 overall, 4-1 ACC).
Behind those two are the Miami Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2 ACC). Every other Coastal
Division team has at least three losses.
The key games for the Hokies are their last two games of the season, against
Miami at home (Nov. 17th) and on the road at Virginia (Nov. 24th). If VT can
beat both the Canes and Cavaliers, the Hokies only need to win one of their
other two games against Georgia Tech and Florida State to win the division.
In simplest terms, all VT needs to do over the next two games — @GT this
Thursday and vs. FSU November 10th — is to win one of them, and they’ll still
control their own destiny. A loss to either GT or FSU isn’t a disaster, but a
loss to both of them means the Hokies will need some help to catch the Hoos and
Hurricanes, not to mention Georgia Tech (currently 5-3, 2-3 ACC).
Comings and Goings
Branden Ore told Kyle Tucker of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot that he is "definitely"
going to return to the Hokies next year … Backup safety Mario Edwards left
the team in late September, according to an early October report by
hokiesports.com … Backup tailback Devin Radford announced his intentions to
transfer back in August, but he decided to remain with the team and has played
in five games this year, including against Boston College (his first action
since the William & Mary game).