|Jackson Jeffcoat (No. 44) will miss the rest of 2012 after rupturing a pectoral muscle on Saturday. (US Presswire)|
A bad weekend for Texas fans got worse when the school announced that defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat suffered a right pectoral muscle rupture in the loss to Oklahoma, and will undergo surgery that will keep him out for the rest of 2012.
According to a release from Kenny Boyd, Texas' head athletic trainer, Jeffcoat's injury was unrelated to the pectoral muscle that was repaired surgically last January. The junior defensive end has recovered fully from that injury, but will start back at square one with this new ailment.
Jeffcoat is arguably one of the most important players on the Longhorns' defense, leading that defensive line with fellow upperclassman Alex Okafor. Jeffcoat is the Texas' fifth-leading tackler, and his 9.5 tackles for loss not only lead the team - but also rank second in the Big 12.
The Longhorns defense has struggled to live up to their hype through the first half of the season, but Jeffcoat's ability to set up shop in opposing backfields has been one of the highlights. In a league that features some of the most prolific passing attacks in college football, a dominant defensive lineman like Jeffcoat can take pressure off the secondary. His presence on that line will be felt, and it is up to defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and the rest of the unit to avoid a letdown after this loss.
The bit of good news for Longhorns' fans is that starting quarterback David Ash, injured after taking a helmet to the left wrist against Oklahoma, "has not been ruled out for the Baylor game."
According to Texas the hit resulted in swelling, but the initial x-rays do not reveal a fracture. The school announced that the sophomore will continue to be evaluated during the week, along with junior defensive tackle Brandon Moore (neck sprain) and junior tackle Donald Hawkins (ankle).
The Longhorns host Baylor Saturday night in Austin - a must-win after dropping two-straight Big 12 contests in the back-to-back weeks. Texas has built a long uphill battle if they hope to compete for the Big 12 title, but another loss would make those goals basically impossible to achieve.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with thisdaily newsletter. View apreview.
Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook