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Hokies (Probably) Healthy Against Miami

No. 11 Virginia Tech will be healthy when it faces No. 9 Miami on Saturday. Probably.

Cornerback Stephan Virgil (left knee injury), defensive tackle John Graves (sprained right ankle), defensive end Jason Worilds (back spasms), defensive back Eddie Whitley (left pectoral strain) and long snapper Collin Carroll (sprained right ankle) are all listed as probable to play Saturday.

That should come as good news to a Hokies defense that has shown some holes in two games against ranked opponents. Virgil, Graves and Worilds are starters and among the most important components of Virginia Tech’s defense, which will face a talented Miami team with a prolific passing offense.

Virgil, who injured his left knee in a 34-24 loss to Alabama on Sept. 5, has participated in practice the past two weeks but has missed the past two games, a 52-10 win over Marshall on Sept. 12 and a 16-15 win over Nebraska last Saturday.

Virgil, a senior, is the Hokies best and most experienced cornerback. Coaches said they expected him to play field cornerback against the Hurricanes. Rashad Carmichael, a fourth-year junior, will likely play boundary cornerback. He has practiced at and played the position over the past two weeks, starting there against Marshall and Nebraska.

The boundary cornerback is responsible for one-on-one coverage in the boundary, often against the opposing team’s best wide receivers. The field cornerback is responsible for roving a larger area of the field, often in zone coverage.

Graves sprained his right ankle against Nebraska. He played through the injury against the Cornhuskers but wore a green, non-activity jersey at practice Tuesday, the only day open to reporters. He was seen wearing a walking boot after practice. Defensive line coach Charley Wiles said he expected Graves would be ready to return against the Hurricanes.

Worilds said he started having back spasms last weekend. He wore a blue, non-contact jersey at practice Tuesday but participated in drills. He said he would be fine.

By Mark Viera  |  September 24, 2009; 5:23 PM ET
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