Posted by Chip Patterson
Virginia Tech has maintained a steady improvement throughout the season, suffering their only loss at the hands of No. 6 Clemson earlier in the season. But injuries have continued to pile up for the Hokies, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. On Monday the school announced that redshirt junior linebacker Bruce Taylor will miss the rest of the season after suffering a sprain in his right foot during Saturday's 30-14 victory over Boston College.
CBSSports.com's Sean Bielawski notes that Taylor is the third defensive starter in the front seven to suffer a season ending injury, outside linebacker Jeron Geouveia-Winslow suffered the same foot injury in his left foot while defensive tackle Antoine Hopkins injured his right knee earlier in the season. Taylor leads the team in tackles and is second in sacks, he is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt freshman Barquell Rivers.
Pulling together this banged up defense for the home stretch will be a challenge for Frank Beamer and defensive coordinator Bud Foster. With Georgia Tech losing at Miami over the weekend, the Hokies control their own destiny in the ACC Coastal Division. If they can win out, they'll earn a trip back to Charlotte for the ACC title game - likely a rematch with Clemson. But left on Virginia Tech's schedule are four division opponents, and a Thursday night game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The front seven will need to show their depth in the coming weeks, as they face some of the more physical rushing attacks in the conference.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview