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Retool and Reload: How Virginia Tech Must Deal With Alabama Without Darren Evans

Larry BurtonSenior Writer IAugust 12, 2009

BLACKSBURG - OCTOBER 25:  Head coach Frank Beamer and Jud Dunlevy #92 of the Virginia Tech Hokies looks on during the game against the Boston College Eagles at Lane Stadium on October 25, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Frank Beamer has always taken misfortune in stride.  Injuries, freak turnovers, player losses and such are simply part of the game to men like him. No use in crying over spilled milk.

So none were surprised when Beamer chose not to make a public announcement of the injury of Darren Evans himself.  He's too busy with the work at hand preparing for a crucial first game against a top five team.

Coaches like Beamer do not like excuses—it's his job to coach, mentor and prepare a team, not just a select group of individuals. 

I thought of Beamer immediately when I heard the news of Evans injury and a quote he made a few years ago when asked about a player who had been injured by a reporter.

"The last time I looked we had more players on the bench than on the field." he told the reporter. "It's my job to have someone ready to take his place.  This is a team sport you know!"

And so it goes for the Hokies once again.

This injury could be both overplayed and underplayed according to insiders who know the whole story of Virginia Tech and it's depth at running back.

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It's overplayed in that Evans was the only "Brute" back to get those third and short yards every team needs and because of his pass blocking ability.

It's under-played because Beamer and his staff have probably already come to the conclusion that you can't or won't beat Alabama running a bruising back up the middle.

So while Evans was sure to have been the starter, he was far from being the star.

Ryan Williams was destined to be the star because of his speed and pass catching ability. He was and is the future of Virginia Tech's running game and production.

On play action, there had better be a Crimson Tide jersey all over Williams after the fake, lest he get past the line and snag a pass for a long gain.  Williams ability as a receiver out of the backfield could catch Bama by surprise.

However given this much time, one could bet that Nick Saban will know everything there is to know about each backup down to his favorite television program by game time.  That is if he doesn't already.

Personally I think Beamer will go to the shotgun a lot more and use Taylor's gift as being another running back in draw plays and roll outs.  It would also not surprise me to see Beamer come up with some wishbone type plays and even a 'Wild Turkey' or two on some third and longs.

One thing is for certain, this injury does change the plans of both coaches in how they'll prepare now.

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