After missing four games with a right hamstring injury, sophomore running back Ryan Williams — one of the nation’s top freshmen a year ago – is expected to return to Virginia Tech’s lineup, according to running backs coach Billy Hite.
“I think he’s ready to play,” Hite said. “I’ll ask him again on Thursday, ‘Are you 100 percent?’ and if he says ‘yes’ then you’re going and playing. Right now I think he’s leaning that way.”
Hite said if Williams plays Saturday, he’ll only be on the field for “a couple of series” because his conditioning has suffered after missing so much practice. That means Darren Evans would start with David Wilson also expected to get some carries after rushing for 105 yards last week against Wake Forest. In the 18 quarters Williams has missed, Evans, who started as a redshirt freshman in 2008, has rushed for 354 yards and seven touchdowns, and Wilson has run for 357 yards and two scores.
QB Tyrod Taylor also is a bit banged up as he wore a splint on his right (throwing) wrist in practice early this week after falling on it against Wake Forest – the third time in as many games Taylor said he’s done that. But Taylor hasn’t been limited in his participation and will start against the Blue Devils. Taylor leads the Hokies with 79 rushing attempts and 480 rushing yards.
Coach Frank Beamer said this week he didn’t know if Taylor would wear the splint against Duke, but he was confident the injury would not affect his ability to throw the football.
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