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Injury limits Virginia Tech starting corner Jermaine Waller to handful of snaps in Syracuse loss

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ACC Midseason Awards Football

Virginia Tech defensive back Jermaine Waller returns an interception against West Virginia last month.

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech starting corner Jermaine Waller joined in with his teammates signaling for a fumble early in Saturday’s game against Syracuse.

He walked gingerly off the field as the officials tried to sort through the mess — Tech safety Tae Daley did knock the ball loose from Sean Tucker, but Syracuse kept the ball after a review — but wasn’t able to rejoin them as the drive continued.

Waller was questionable coming into the game with the foot injury he suffered in the first half of a loss to Pitt.

He played only four snaps before having to come out.

“Yeah, he couldn’t go,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said.

Tech missed Waller’s presence with Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader throwing for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his team’s 41-36 win. He threw for 79 yards and both of those touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

The go-ahead touchdown was on a 45-yard strike down the middle of the field to Damien Alford.

Defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton relied on a rotation of Dorian Strong, Armani Chatman and Brion Murray with Waller out. Murray had a pair of pass breakups and one of those was on a play that he nearly came down with an interception.

Tech came into the game with the No. 27 ranked passing defense in the country (197.5 yards allowed per game).

Earlier in the week, Waller was named the AP ACC midyear top defensive player. He has 28 tackles (18 solo) with four interceptions and two pass breakups. He was still tied for the FBS lead in interceptions coming into this weekend.


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