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Boone and Virgil Are ‘Doubtful’ for Marshall

Virginia Tech tight end Greg Boone and boundary cornerback Stephan Virgil are both listed as doubtful to play in Saturday’s game against Marshall. The announcement Thursday means the Hokies will likely be without two of their best players on each side of the ball.

Boone sprained his SC joint while making a block last Saturday in a 34-24 loss to Alabama. The sternoclavicular joint, or SC joint, is the connection of the sternum (breastbone) to the clavicle (collarbone).

Virgil said he tweaked his left knee while making a tackle late in the game against the Crimson Tide. On Tuesday, he said he had received treatment to the knee every morning since the game.

Boone, a fifth-year senior, is looked at as a leader. At 283 pounds, he is a big target with good hands and can clear space as a blocker. Boone can add a wrinkle to the Hokies offense in the Wild Turkey formation, in which he lined up as a quarterback last year and rumbled for yards out of the backfield.

Boone’s replacement, fourth-year junior André Smith, is a capable fill in. He played last weekend against Alabama and saw action in every game last year, starting six when the Hokies opened in a two tight end formation. He finished with 10 catches for 129 yards and one touchdown.

Virgil, a senior defensive leader, plays one of the most important roles in the secondary. The boundary cornerback is responsible for man-on-man coverage and is often matched up against an opponent’s best receiver. Virgil, the Hokies’ most experienced cornerback, had a big game against the Crimson Tide, finishing with 10 tackles, a team-leading three tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

Although Jayron Hosley, a freshman, is listed second on the depth chart at boundary cornerback, it is unclear who is likely to fill in for Virgil.

Field cornerback Rashad Carmichael, a fourth-year junior, started one game at boundary cornerback last season; he filled in for the injured Victor (Macho) Harris in the season opener against East Carolina. In preseason practices, defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said Carmichael emerged as the starting field cornerback because he was the most consistent and made the most “wow” plays.

Hosley, a freshman, was one of the top-rated cornerback prospects in the nation. In his debut against Alabama, Hosley returned one punt for 11 yards after running back Ryan Williams removed himself as the return man.

The No. 14 Hokies (0-1) take on the Thundering Herd (1-0) at Lane Stadium.

By Mark Viera  |  September 10, 2009; 6:58 PM ET
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