Bourbon Shots: Reaction to Darren Evans' Torn ACL Edition

[Ed. Note: I reserve the right to add to this as I see fit for the next couple days.]

National Media

Virginia Tech Loses Some of its Toughness (Aaron McFarling)
Darren Evans personifies the traits often associated with Virginia Tech football. He was hard-working, tough and not afraid to get his nose dirty. Without Evans in the backfield, the Hokies will have to rely on speed and quickness from its running backs. But it will be impossible to replace a guy who could be a battering ram between the tackles to pick up three tough yards.

When Did Evans Tear His ACL? (Kyle Tucker)
Running backs coach Billy Hite told Kyle Tucker of the Virginian-Pilot he thinks Evans knee injury on Friday was actually an ACL tear. I'm wondering why a precautionary MRI wasn't done Friday even if the doctors found no loose ligaments in his knee. Tucker also has a very eerie quote from Josh Oglesby from before the injury to Evans.

There are Plenty of Carries to Go Around (Darryl Slater)
"Now that Hite’s three backs are unproven, at least in terms of playing regularly in a college game, the discussion about splitting carries revolves around this question: How can Hite use those carries to determine which of the three can be most effective? And how will Hite mix them in? Will the carries split be more even between the top two or three backs than they would have been if Evans was in there? You’d think so, but we’ll have to see."

Breaking Down RB Break Downs (Norm Wood)
Tech has faced injuries to its primary running back before. Wood compares the loss of Evans to when the Hokies lost Lee Suggs in the 2001 opener. It opened the door for a freshman Kevin Jones and led to a triumphant return for Suggs in 2002.

Passing Game Even More Critical (Annette)
Annette has it right. The pressure isn't on Josh Oglesby, Ryan Williams or David Wilson for the Hokies. It's squarely on Tyrod Taylor's shoulders. He's the one who's going to have to be the leader for the offense, both vocally and by lighting up opposing defenses.

Life After Darren Evans (Jim Young)
Young puts things in perspective. Losing Darren Evans is a huge blow, but not a complete disaster. Losing Tyrod Taylor would have meant a lost season for the Hokies. Tech has a lot of depth at running back and yet another one will likely emerge and make it a contender in the ACC. Young was the one who broke the news to me about Evans and most of (if not all) of the words he couldn't use in his column came from me. In fact, six of the eight words in my reply couldn't be used.

Reassessing Virginia Tech's Hold on the ACC (Dr. Saturday)
The Doc takes a loot at whether or not the Hokies can still win the league. However, there's a big error because he includes Kenny Lewis, who likely won't play this year due to last year's Achilles' injury. The Doc notes that it took the first two months for Evans to establish himself as the go-to guy last year and the first two months of this season include games against Alabama, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Miami and North Carolina.

Evans injury changes everything for VT, Bama (Mr. College Football)
"But now the story line, instead of two top 10 teams wanting to get off to a good start towards the national championship, will be whether or not Virginia Tech can overcome the injury to Evans. It is still a good story line but it’s just not as compelling. And fair or not, and it’s not fair, Alabama will not get as much of a pop out of the game if it wins because the poll voters will take into account that Virginia Tech’s best offensive player was not there."

Hokie Blogs

Backups Are Capable (College Game Balls)
CGB was devastated when he heard the news about Evans' torn ACL, but has faith in Josh Oglesby, Ryan Williams and David Wilson. He expects Williams to be the No. 1 running back when all is said and done.

The Squeaky Wheel Heard Around the CFB World (Beer Control Offense)
The Hokies will miss Evans ability to keep moving forward according to EBJ. Evans was the anti-Branden Ore. He always hit the hole at fullspeed and picked up extra yards when he was being tackled. EBJ also has an important note on how the loss of Evans will affect Tech's pass blocking.

Oglesby Needs to Prove It (VT Hokie Fans)
"According to Mike Burnop, Tech Hall of Famer and color analyst, Oglesby is a great practice player but has struggled in game situations. This is his chance to step up and prove that he can play. It also means that David Wilson will definitely get some snaps out of the backfield as the No. 3 back."

"The Well Isn't Dry" (Blogsburg)
Bourbonstreet writes that the Hokies have lost a lot due to the injury to Darren Evans. In addition to his toughness inside, he was also the best pass blocker and pass catcher among the running backs. Street also explains why Josh Oglesby fits our offensive line better than Ryan Williams or David Wilson (very interesting stuff).

Opponent Blogs

VT RB Injury Questions (From The Rumble Seat)
Bird looks at running back progression from year-to-year for the Hokies. Not many running backs improved every year they were at Virginia Tech. I think Bird's sampling is a little flawed and most of the number lack context. Of course Suggs' carries and yards were going to go down when Jones emerged and Jones' went down when Suggs returned from his torn ACL. But his conclusion shows most Tech backs had a "sophomore slump".

Tide Fans Sympathetic, Confident (Roll Bama Roll)
Most Bama fans feel sorry for Evans, but are even more confident (if that was possible) that the Hokies have no shot against the Crimson Tide when the two teams meet in Atlanta on Sept. 5.

Injury Won't Have Big Effect on Nebraska Game (Big Red Network)
"I'm not sure how much Evans' injury will move the line for the Virginia Tech season or their tilt with the Huskers. When a team loses one of the most talented offensive players, it has to hurt them. The bottom line is that Virginia Tech will be without their most experienced rusher. Though, with all of the returning starters and talent on the Hokie roster, the test of playing in Blacksburg remains a very tough one for Nebraska."

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