Marshman is out, meaning the offensive line is going to have a new starter for the first time since the Nebraska game. The five offensive linemen (LG Marshman, C Ryan Shuman, RG Sergio Render, LT Ed Wang and RT Blake DeChristopher) had been on the field together for nearly every play the last nine games.
The only major time missed the last nine games was by Shuman, who was out half the game against Duke. Beamer said Jaymes Brooks will start at right guard and Render will move to left guard for the Orange Bowl. Brooks has played four plays this season (three vs. Furman and one vs. BC).
This really upsets the apple cart on an offensive line that struggled when it didn't have all five starters going. DeChristopher was injured four plays into the ECU game and the O-line struggled until he returned for three-quarters of the plays against North Carolina.
While I consider Marshman to be the fifth-best offensive lineman among the five starters, I don't like how this will affect the interior of the line. The three interior linemen and running back Darren Evans were especially effective together the last five games of the season. Now, you've got Render learning a new position (even if he is the best lineman we have IMO) and a redshirt freshman getting his first career start.
This could undo all the progress we've seen this season on the offensive line.
Beamer's quote, from Kyle Tucker's blog:
"... Marshman knew he needed to pass six hours. I mean, he’s already graduated. It’s one of those things, but he knew he needed to pass six hours and didn’t get it done.”
He sounds pretty disappointed/pissed Marshman didn't live up to his end of the bargain.
In other news, Jason Worilds and Brett Warren are questionable for the Orange Bowl. Like Tucker, I expect Worilds to play despite a shoulder that has popped out of place just about every game since Maryland. He's played and played exceptionally through the pain.
The loss of Warren is a big one. He's been a fantastic run stopper this year and if he can't go, it will be yet another redshirt freshman, Barquell Rivers, getting his first career start.
It would just be fitting for the Hokies to conclude this crazy, youngster-filled season by seeing two more redshirt freshman see their first significant action in a BCS bowl game.