Virginia had already seen a close game against North Carolina become a laugher late in the fourth quarter last Thursday night when the Cavaliers watched one of their most important players go down to injury. On Virginia’s final drive of the game, quarterback Phillip Sims was hit as he threw the ball and fell on the legs of right tackle Morgan Moses.

Moses needed to be helped off the field and he was spotted after the game on crutches with what was simply described as a leg injury (On the field, it appeared to be his ankle or knee that took the brunt of the hit). And because a rivalry game at Virginia Tech is on tap this week, Coach Mike London wasn’t any more specific about Moses’s status when asked by reporters at his weekly news conference Monday afternoon.

“It’s guarded right now,” London said. “We’ll see Tuesday and we’ll see Wednesday what happens, and then we’ll go throughout the week to see how he can do or what he can do. That’s going to be important. I’m quite sure if he’s ready to play, able to play, he will.”

Losing Moses would be a huge blow to the Cavaliers, who are seeking their first win over the Hokies since 2003. If Moses can’t play, it would elevate redshirt freshman Jay Whitmire (T.C. Williams) into the starting right tackle role. But it remains to be seen how he would deal with Virginia Tech defensive end James Gayle, the Hokies’ most talented pass rusher.

Moses, who has started every game this year, has been a stabilizing force on the offensive line along with left tackle Oday Aboushi. His absence could play right into the hands of Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who has increasingly chosen to blitz frequently and leave his secondary on an island in recent weeks.

The Hokies finished with a season-high seven sacks last week at Boston College and have at least five in three of their past four games.

“They’ve made a lot of plays because of that style, and sometimes it’s hurt them,” London said of Virginia Tech. “But you do see a very aggressive man-to-man style, we’re-going-to-put-pressure-on-you, you-have-to-block-us type of approach.”