Saturday, January 1, 2011
Virginia Tech's David Wilson disciplined
ESPN.com news services
MIAMI -- The Virginia Tech Hokies could be without two of their three featured running backs for at least the first quarter Monday night when they face Stanford (No. 4 BCS, No. 5 AP) in the Discover Orange Bowl.
Sophomore David Wilson will be held out for a quarter as punishment for missing a Friday night bed check, and sophomore Ryan Williams is a game-time decision with an injured hamstring, coach Frank Beamer said Saturday at practice.
Safety Antone Exum, a backup redshirt freshman, will also be held out of the first quarter. Wilson and Exum missed a 1 a.m. requirement, Beamer said.
"We're going to keep them out of the first quarter of the ball game, take some of their travel money, and that will be the end of that," Beamer said. "The good thing is they were in their hotel, the bad thing is they were out of their room. They knew they needed to be in there."
Wilson and Exum will also not be attending the Miami Heat's game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night with the rest of the team, Beamer said.
Cornerback Rashad Carmichael will take over Wilson's kick-return duties in his absence.
Wilson and Williams combined for 1,089 yards on the ground this season. Darren Evans leads the Hokies (No. 13 BCS, No. 12 AP) with 817 rushing yards; quarterback Tyrod Taylor has 637.
Saturday was the first day Williams was cleared for full-contact drills.
The Hokies (11-2) are in Miami thanks to a colossal turnaround. Ranked No. 10 and touted as national championship contenders at the start of the season, they opened with a loss at Boise State and a shocking defeat at home against lower-tier James Madison, all in a span of five days.
But they regrouped and swept the next 11 games, including all eight in the Atlantic Coast Conference to win the title for the fourth time since joining the league in 2004.
A meeting of the seniors the day after the James Madison loss prevented panic.
The Hokies rallied from a 17-point deficit on the road to beat No. 23-ranked North Carolina State. They clinched their division with a win at No. 14 Miami. They beat No. 20 Florida State to win the ACC championship game for the third time in four years.
As a result, Beamer's team is in a bowl game for the 18th consecutive year. And Stanford's top-five ranking provides Tech with an opportunity for a breakthrough.
The Hokies are 1-26 against top-five teams, with the most recent defeat this season's loss to then-No. 3 Boise State. It's an astounding record of futility for such a successful program, and it grates on coaches and players.
While Tech brings plenty of momentum into the Orange Bowl, so does Stanford. The Cardinal blew an early 18-point lead in a loss to unbeaten Oregon in early October, then swept the final seven games to earn their first BCS bowl berth. Quarterback Andrew Luck finished second in the Heisman Trophy race, and the defense posted three shutouts.
Now Stanford (11-1) seeks its first bowl win since the 1996 season. A victory would cap the four-year climb from the Pac-10 cellar to the sport's elite level.
Information from ESPN.com's Heather Dinich and The Associated Press was used in this report.