WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

'Hoos Won't Have Urban, Nicholson vs. Duke

The Virginia defense will be without two of its leaders on Saturday, as the Cavaliers try to end their current three-game losing streak.

The UVa injury report released Thursday afternoon listed both starting defensive tackle Brent Urban and starting cornerback Demetrious Nicholson out for Saturday's home game against Duke.

"This point in the season, injuries start to grow, and people have to step in and make plays," coach Mike London said Thursday. "Because a lot of teams are faced with this."

Nicholson had his streak of 30 consecutive starts snapped when he missed the Cavaliers' trip to Maryland last weekend because of a toe injury. He has 20 tackles and one interception in five games this year.

"You look at Tra', he's started 30 straight games. So obviously there's an experience factor there," London said. "But this is an opportunity for a guy like Tim Harris, a local product from Richmond, to step in. The "next man up" mentality."

Harris, a true freshman, made his first career start in Nicholson's place against Maryland. He made five tackles, including one for a loss.

Urban was hurt early in the second quarter of the Maryland game, and returned to the UVa sideline in the second half on crutches and with a boot on his right foot. The 6-7 senior leads the nation in passes deflected by a defensive lineman, with eight, and his 7.5 tackles for a loss are tied for the team lead.

"We'll have some opportunities to move some guys around on the inside to try to replace Brent," London said. "But he's one of our best players on defense, and a focal point of what we do."

Starting defensive end Jake Snyder saw time at Urban's tackle spot after the injury last week. London also mentioned true freshman Donte Wilkins as another player who could slide into the vacancy left by Urban's injury.

Kicker Ian Frye was also listed as out on the UVa injury report, meaning he will miss his third straight game. The other two players mentioned were both listed as probable for Saturday -- linebacker Daquan Romero (upper extremity) and running back Khalek Shepherd (trunk).


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