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Worilds Starring Again, but Could Face Test

Not unlike last year, Virginia Tech end Jason Worilds has been a disruptive force.

But against No. 9 Miami (2-0, 2-0 ACC), Worilds could face a tough test because the Hurricanes’ often use an unbalanced line to double team their opponent’s best pass rusher. It is a critical issue for the No. 11 Hokies (2-1) as they hope to disrupt quarterback Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes’ potent passing attack.

Worilds is undoubtedly the Hokies’ best pass rusher. In three games, Worilds has a sack and 13 quarterback hurries. He has 12 tackles, two for a loss.

Coming off of surgery in the offseason to repair bone and ligament damage in his right shoulder – it popped out of its socket regularly during games last year – Worilds has looked every bit the second-team all-ACC player he was in 2008. Maybe even better.

Worilds is coming off perhaps his best game of the season. In a 16-15 win over Nebraska last Saturday, Worilds was in the middle of every play and often worked his way in the backfield. He had five tackles and five quarterback hurries. At times, Worilds appeared to be held to the Cornhuskers’ offensive linemen who were struggling to contain him.

Like Nebraska, Miami has a talented and mammoth offensive line. But the difference is in the Hurricanes’ scheme. When it runs an unbalanced line, Miami will likely use two blockers to neutralize Worilds.

“They’re going to be able to double him, and they’re going to do that a bunch,” said Charley Wiles, the Hokies’ defensive line coach.

The Hurricanes unbalanced line will likely bring two tackles to the same side of the center, instead of on either side of the center. Miami tackles Jason Fox and Matt Pipho are each 6 feet 7 and weigh more than 300 pounds. At 6-2, 262 pounds, Worilds is undersize no matter who he matches up against, so he relies on speed and technique to make an impact.

With Worilds’ double-teamed, it will be important for the Hokies' other defensive linemen to win their one-on-one battles. Worilds, the Hokies’ best pass rusher, should be in for a challenge Saturday with two big blockers on him, and that might make it difficult for Virginia Tech to pressure Miami.

By Mark Viera  |  September 24, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
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