Dashawn Crawford

Virginia Tech defensive tackle Dashawn Crawford at the team's annual fan day on Sunday, August 11, 2019. 

BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech starting defensive tackle Dashawn Crawford could be a game time decision against North Carolina.

According to defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Crawford practiced on a very limited basis Tuesday morning.

“We kind of kept him out of the team stuff and worked some individual,” Foster said. “I’ll have to see how, talking to Charley and talking to our training staff, how he did out there.”

Crawford missed last week’s game after suffering a lower body injury in the first half of the Miami game. He has 12 tackles (five solo) with two for a loss and one sack, but the modest numbers don’t tell the full story. The junior college transfer was the most consistent interior lineman through the Hokies first five games.

“He was playing really, really well,” Foster said.

Foster hopes Crawford is able to play against North Carolina, but has concerns about playing the 6-foot-0, 290-pounder if he’s not 100%.

“I think he’s one of those guys that needs to be able to play full speed to be the type of player that we need him to be,” Foster said. “...I’ll find out a little bit more today and we’ll know more as each day goes along how he continues to progress.”

Tech went with a rotation of Norell Pollard, Mario Kendricks and Rob Porcher at defensive tackle last week. Pollard, who got the start alongside Jarrod Hewitt, had one tackle and a quarterback hurry against Rhode Island. Kendricks and Porcher combined for a sack on the Rams final drive of the game.

Foster has praised all three players continued improvement — Pollard and Kendricks are both true freshmen — but they have work to do particularly in the passing game. Pollard has 11 tackles (three solo) with one sack and Kendricks has seven tackles (five solo) with four for a loss including two sacks.

“We had some containment issues with the quarterback moving around,” Foster said. “We have to make sure we do a good job of not running by the quarterback to create lanes for him to escape or step up to make some throws.”

Mike Niziolek is the Virginia Tech football beat writer for The Roanoke Times. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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