Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley made his return to the starting lineup in Saturday’s 14-10 win over Duke, but in his first action since re-aggravating a left hamstring injury at Wake Forest two weeks ago, the speedy junior didn’t look like his normal self.
On Duke’s lone touchdown drive of the day, Hosley was flagged for two pass interference calls trying to cover wide receiver Conner Vernon (four catches, 88 yards). Combined with a late-hit penalty by safety Eddie Whitley, it allowed Blue Devils running back Desmond Scott to tie the game at seven with a three-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.
Hosley, who led the nation with nine interceptions a year ago, admitted after the game that Varner “made plays. I’m not gonna blame it on anything.”
“I wouldn’t say it was rust. It was just getting back into that game mode,” he added. “Next week I’m gonna get back to where I need to be with this off week. Get back on my grind.”
Defensive end James Gayle also made his full return to the lineup, playing extensive snaps for the first time in more than a month after being slowed by a sprained left ankle. He finished the game with six tackles, but said his ankle was only about “80 or 90 percent” healthy.
At one point in the first half, Gayle came limping to the sideline when he thought he heard his ankle “pop.” He was, however, able to return to the game.
“It still hurts with some movements when I cut,” he said. “I’m happy this bye week is coming up so then I’ll come back good for Georgia Tech.”
The Hokies’ defense has lost four opening-day starters to injury but held Duke to just 326 yards Saturday.