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Mike London: 'guarded but optimistic' Keith Payne will play against B.C.

By Steve Yanda

Virginia Coach Mike London said Monday he was "guarded but optimistic" that fifth-year senior tailback Keith Payne -- the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading scorer -- will be available to play Saturday at Boston College. Payne suffered what London described as a "lower leg injury" during last weekend's 42-23 loss to Maryland.

The Cavaliers' other primary tailback, sophomore Perry Jones, may have suffered a concussion during a kickoff return against Maryland. London described Jones's injury as "a collision issue." The coach said he was optimistic Jones will play against Boston College, which possesses the nation's top rushing defense (74.4 yards allowed per game).

Payne and Jones have taken 75.4 percent of Virginia's rushing attempts this season. Payne has registered 741 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Jones has recorded 568 yards. Jones also has tallied 22 receptions, which ranks fourth on the team.

"They are two significant parts of our offensive approach," London said. "They’ll be on the plane on Friday going to Boston College, put it that way."

Redshirt sophomore tailback Torrey Mack is listed behind Jones and Payne on the team's depth chart, though fifth-year senior Raynard Horne took a majority of the snaps when Jones and Payne were out of Saturday's game against Maryland. Mack has carried the ball 11 times for 34 yards this season, while Horne has tallied 118 yards on 27 carries.

By Steve Yanda  | November 15, 2010; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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