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Via could start again vs. Maryland

Virginia Tech center Michael Via seems likely to make his second start in as many weeks after starter Beau Warren, who injured his left knee against North Carolina on Oct. 29, was listed as doubtful to play Saturday at Maryland.

Via started in place of Warren for last Thursday’s 16-3 win at East Carolina. It was his first career start. Via played all 76 offensive snaps and graded out at 83 percent, with three knockdowns, against the Pirates.

Via, a redshirt freshman, finished the North Carolina game for Warren. It was only his third game appearance at that point.

As the son of a coach, Via has a good football sense. The biggest thing he was missing, offensive line coach Curt Newsome said, was the difficult-to-replicate experience of playing at the college level.

Warren suffered a Grade II sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee against the Tar Heels. In the third quarter, his leg was pinned underneath a pile near the North Carolina’s goal line. He did not return to the game. Warren missed practice time during that week. On Monday, Warren was seen in a green, non-activity jersey at the Hokies’ practice.

Before last Thursday, Warren, a fourth-year junior, started every game this season. His absence was a source of concern for the Hokies because center is a difficult position for a young player to step into.

Via has always played on the offensive line, but he moved to center once he came to Virginia Tech because there was a lack of depth behind Warren. Before coming to Blacksburg, Via said he had not played center since middle school.

The No. 20 Hokies (6-3, 3-2) play the Terrapins (2-7, 1-4) in College Park.

By Mark Viera  |  November 12, 2009; 4:05 PM ET
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