Virginia's leading rusher, Keith Payne, told David Teel he's going to play on Saturday. He missed last week's game at Boston College with what was called a lower-extremity injury.
Payne has 741 yards this season and averages 4.8 yards per carry, 4.6 in conference play. He's a tough, between-the-tackles runner that will be a handful for the Hokies' defensive tackles and middle linebackers.
The red zone is where Payne is most important to the Wahoos. He's scored 14 of their 17 red zone touchdowns this year, all on the ground. Payne had scored nine touchdowns in five games prior to not finding the end zone in the game he was injured against Maryland.
His presence will help take some pressure off quarterback Marc Verica. Last week, without Payne in the lineup, Verica completed over 60 percent of his passes and and threw for 284 yards, but also tossed an interception and was without a TD for the first time since Oct. 16 against North Carolina.