Virginia Tech lost all-conference tailback Darren Evans to a season-ending knee injury Tuesday, leaving the ACC's preseason favorite without an established runner to complement quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Evans, a sophomore from Indianapolis, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during practice, the school said in a news release. He sprained the same knee Friday.
Evans' injury elevates Josh Oglesby to No. 1 on the current depth chart. Seldom-used last season as a redshirt freshman, he rushed for 88 yards on 38 carries.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Williams and true freshman David Wilson now figure prominently in the tailback equation. They were much more acclaimed in high school than was Oglesby.
During a scrimmage Tuesday for rookies and reserves, Wilson rushed for 46 yards in six attempts, Williams 31 in five. Coaches earlier this week voiced displeasure with Williams' stamina.
In a statement, Virginia Tech trainer Mike Goforth said Evans "will be re-evaluated later this week to see when the ACL reconstruction surgery will take place. Our hope is to be able to repair the knee prior to classes starting so that he can get started on his rehab and continue his course work."
Losing Evans jolts an offense that ranked 103rd nationally last season in yards and 90th in scoring. He produced at least one touchdown in each of his first six games, finished with a team-high 11 and averaged 4.3 yards per attempt.
All four of Evans' 100-plus-yard games came during the second half of the year. He gained a career-best 253 on 32 carries in a 23-13 victory over Maryland.
Evans and Taylor (738 yards) were the only Hokies to rush for more than 250 yards in all of 2008. Senior Kenny Lewis Jr. gained 237 yards last year but is expected to miss at least the first three games this season with recurring Achilles tendon issues.
Last season at Danville's George Washington High, Wilson ran for 2,291 yards and 35 touchdowns; Williams missed three games during his senior year at Manassas' Stonewall Jackson High after gaining 1,574 yards as a junior.
In part because of Evans, Tech has been an odds-on favorite to win its fourth ACC championship in six years and third straight. The Hokies are No. 7 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll and open their season Sept. 5 in Atlanta against No. 5 Alabama.
Va. Tech football
Evans out for season
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