Hokies running backs have been an endangered species this season. Yet another Virginia Tech running back went down on Saturday. Freshman starter Marshawn Williams went down with an apparent left knee injury in the second quarter. The injury appears to be serious and he is now likely done for the season.
"“He’s probably done for the season,” Virginia Tech doctor Tony McPherron said. “We have a pretty good idea right now, to be honest with you, but we’ll let you know once the MRI’s official.” (h/t Mike Barber, Richmond Times Dispatch)"
The Hokies already lost talented freshman Shai McKenzie for the year to a torn ACL and last season’s feature back Trey Edmunds to a broken clavicle. Edmunds already took longer than expected to return from a broken leg. While he is optimistic to be able to play against either Wake Forest or UVA, his status remains doubtful.
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That leaves the Hokies tying their fortunes to their fourth string running back J. C. Coleman. Coleman has been a starter in the past and a lesser person would have been discouraged or tried to transfer after having been leapfrogged on the depth by not one but two different freshman. However, Coleman keep working and waiting for another chance.
"“He’s a team guy,” [Offensive Coordinator Scott] Loeffler said. “He could have pouted, he could have packed his lunch pail and went home but he didn’t. He kept steady Eddie. I can’t be more proud of the guy.” (h/t Mike Barber, Richmond Times Dispatch)"
He got that chance on Saturday and took advantage. Coleman ran the ball 12 times and complied 95 yards on the ground. It was the best day Coleman had since he was a freshman, when he had 186 yards also against Duke.
Coleman figures to be big part of the offensive game plan for the next two weeks against Wake and Virginia. While there are, and always have been, major concerns regarding the 5 foot 7, 194 pound tailback being back to withstand being an every down back, Coleman is determined to prove his detractors wrong and lead the Hokies back to a bowl game.
The Hokies bowl outlook is a lot more hopeful after last weekend’s win. They need to win just one of next two against two very beatable opponents in Wake and UVA. But if Virginia Tech does indeed return to a bowl game for the 22nd consecutive year. It will likely be on the shoulders of their former fourth string, undersized back who is playing with more heart than a man twice his size.