Duke's leading rusher out, QB could be next

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It's never good to lose your leading rusher, but the starting quarterback, too?

The Blue Devils will need all the help they can get on Saturday in Blacksburg, as running back Clifford Harris is out with a broken arm, and quarterback Thaddeus Lewis did not practice today because of a sprained foot.

"I'm very confident in Zack [Asack]," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said of his backup quarterback. "He's a veteran player. He's started and played as a freshman, and played intermittently since then. He's capable of playing better and will play better. We don't know what's going to happen [with Thaddeus Lewis' status] but he's got to go in there with the mentality that he's going to play on Saturday."

With the loss of Re'quan Boyette before the season started and Harris last week against Clemson, Duke will bring only two experienced running backs to Virginia Tech. Jay Hollingsworth and Tony Jackson have combined for 570 rushing yards and one touchdown on 156 attempts. Together they've caught 28 passes for another 213 yards and three touchdowns.

Still, neither of them were a part of the offense a year ago. Hollingsworth was a senior at Lee County High School in Sanford, N.C., and Jackson was a rookie reserve safety.