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Miami could be missing much of its offensive line against Virginia Tech

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The University of Miami, already reeling from a sudden drop from the polls, may be without its defensive line Saturday against Virginia Tech.

Coach Mark Richt already has declared that defensive end Demetrious Jackson and tackle Gerald Willis will miss this week’s game against the Hokies. Defensive end Chad Thomas is questionable with an injury.

That leaves the Canes with backups Joe Jackson and Trent Harris.

“Sometimes guys are banged up,” Richt said. “If a guy feels good enough the day before the game, moves around, gets the OK from the doctor … and is up to speed I would let a guy play.”

It had appeared the Miami might have an edge. Virginia Tech is only 51st in tackles for loss allowed. Without much of its line, part of the challenge for UM will be to put pressure on the quarterback.

“It’s been an unusual year, no doubt, with guys being in and out of the lineup,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said. “But we’ll see. We’ll have 11 [players] the first play of the game Thursday night.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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