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    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Head To Head Matchup: Running Backs

    The leading rusher for the Hokies is QB Tyrod Taylor who has 448 yards rushing and 2 TDs. Starting running back Kenny Lewis Jr. is out for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles suffered earlier in the month.

    That leaves the majority of the running back duty to Darren Evans. Evans has 442 yards and 8 TDs for the season. He is ranked #8 in the ACC in rushing averaging a little over 63 yards a game. In the Hokies' loss to Boston College last Saturday, the 6-0/210 pound redshirt freshman had only 27 yards rushing and 0 TDs. He is described as a big back who is physical and tough and hits the hole and runs with power. He came to Tech following a record-setting high school career that earned him Parade All-America honors. Virginia Tech has 13 rushing TDs for the season with Evans having the majority of those TDs.

    Backing up Evans is 5-11/211 pound freshman Josh Oglesby who has played in four games this season and in the last two games. He has 48 yards rushing in the four games played with no TDs.

    Defensive matchup: The Nole defense will have their work cut out for them in that the Hokies' leading rusher is their QB. Contain him and they have a shot. The Noles are ranked #1 in the ACC in rush defense allowing 80 yards a game and 2 TDs. Against NC State, the defense gave up more yards than was usual for them. This week they will have to be better. The Noles are ranked #3 in the ACC in tackles for a loss and they will have to have a good effort from their linebacker corp and players like Derek Nicholson.

    Defensive end Everette Brown will have to have a good outing against the Hokies in order to contain their main rushing threat, Tyrod Taylor. FSU is ranked #3 in the ACC in sacks with Everette Brown ranked #7 in the ACC for sack leaders.

    For the Noles, the ACC's number 3 ranked back, Antone Smith, will carry the load against the Hokies. Smith has 483 yards rushing on the season and 10 TDs. He is averaging a little over 80 yards a game and averages 4.8 yards a carry. It will be important for Smith to have a good day in order to take pressure off Ponder.

    Backing up Smith is Jermaine Thomas with 212 yards rushing and 2 TDs on the season.

    Defensive matchup: Virginia Tech has always been known for its tough defense. This year is no different. The Hokies are ranked #5 in the ACC in rush defense allowing 122.57 yards a game and 7 TDs.

    Virginia Tech's defensive lineman Orion Martin is ranked #1 in the ACC in tackles for a loss. In addition, Hokie linebacker Purnell Sturdivant is ranked #7 in the ACC in tackles.

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