Hokies might not be full strength for Boise State

The biggest question heading into the Boise State game is how Virginia Tech's defense will look after having to replace six starters from last season, but it's not the only issue facing the Hokies right now.

Starting linebacker Barquell Rivers is doubtful and starting left tackle Nick Becton is probable, but he's missed a lot of reps this summer with turf toe. Odds are he plays through some pain.

The good news is that linebacker Bruce Taylor has practiced well and he got a lot of reps this past spring with Rivers sidelined while recovering from surgery to repair his left quadriceps. Rivers, though, is the team's top returning tackler from a year ago with 96 stops. Redshirt freshman Telvion Clark has moved up to the No. 2 spot at inside linebacker.

Andrew Lanier, Becton's backup, can play either tackle spot and did well in his start last year at Duke.

The situation obviously isn't ideal, but the bigger concern remains on defense.