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Bruce Taylor Injury Robs Virginia Tech Of Best Defender

Hokies lose leading tackler Bruce Taylor for the season after it's learned he has a sprained foot that will require surgery.

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Virginia Tech received another setback on Tuesday when the Hokies found out that leading tackler Bruce Taylor would miss the rest of the season. The linebacker suffered a sprained foot and will undergo surgery next week. It will be 6 to 8 weeks before he can even put weight on the foot and he will likely be limited in spring practice, but should be fully recovered in time for fall practice.

Taylor is the Hokies' third defensive starter to be be lost for the season. He joins defensive lineman Antoine Hopkins and linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow. Taylor's loss may be the biggest, though, as he was also the defensive play caller.

"It is a tough loss," coach Frank Beamer said on Monday. "He’s played a lot of plays and made a lot of plays. He’s a very smart guy and gets us into the right things."

The No. 15-ranked Hokies will likely use Barquell Rivers and Jack Tyler in Taylor's place. They'll get their first big test on Saturday when Virginia Tech plays Duke.