Bad news for the Hokies

December, 21, 2008
12/21/08
3:45
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech could be without three starters for the Orange Bowl, and all three would be significant losses.

Linebacker Brett Warren (torn ACL), and defensive end Jason Worilds (shoulder) have been two of the Hokies' top defenders this season and have both made significant strides in their new roles as leaders. Warren is the team's second leading tackler, has two interceptions and nine quarterback hurries. Worilds has had an outstanding season and leads Tech with 18.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and 21 quarterback hurries.

Without those two defenders, Virginia Tech's ability to put pressure on Cincinnati's quarterbacks decreases. The Bearcats might use both Dustin Grutza and Tony Pike.

It's hard to make any excuses for starting offensive guard Nick Marshman, who only had six credits he had to worry about. It's almost harder to fail six credits than it is to pass them. His absence is a significant blow to an already inconsistent line that has been at the heart of the team's offensive woes.

Not sure what happened with tailback Jahre Cheeseman, but he only carried the ball four times this season so it's not a significant loss.

Collectively, though, none of this is good news heading into a game Frank Beamer is determined to win.

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