The depth of Virginia Tech’s starting offensive line, which hasn’t exactly been clicking on all cylinders this season, will get a serious test against Duke this weekend.
The Hokies announced Thursday that both left guard David Wang (ankle/knee) and his potential replacement, sophomore Caleb Farris (ankle), have been ruled out of Saturday’s game because of injury. In addition, tight end Eric Martin is doubtful because of a shoulder ailment.
But losing Wang and Farris is the more significant blow.
Wang (Stone Bridge High) returned from a sprained ankle last week, but hobbled to the sideline twice Saturday after re-aggravating the injury. Farris, who likely would have taken Wang’s spot in the starting lineup, also suffered an ankle injury at North Carolina, and Newsome indicated that Farris was dealing with a significant amount of swelling earlier in the week.
In their place, the Hokies likely will turn to redshirt sophomore Matt Arkema, although senior Michael Via, redshirt sophomore Brent Benedict and even redshirt sophomore Laurence Gibson could figure into the rotation. Gibson was moved to guard from tackle this week with Wang and Farris not practicing.
The good news, though, is that wide receiver Dyrell Roberts and running back Tony Gregory were not listed on the weekly injury report.
Roberts suffered a concussion in the first quarter of Virginia Tech’s loss at North Carolina after he took a helmet-to-helmet hit while reeling in a 19-yard catch. He returned to the game momentarily, but was in street clothes on the sideline after halftime.
The last time Gregory played against Bowling Green, he gained a career-high 68 rushing yards. That’s also the most yards any Virginia Tech running back has finished with this season. But since then, he had been feeling soreness in his surgically repaired left knee and missed the Hokies’ losses to Cincinnati and North Carolina.