Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If Cincinnati is going to survive the scrum at the top of the Big East and advance to their third BCS bowl game in four years, they'll have to do it without the services of starting quarterback Zach Collaros.
Collaros left Saturday's loss to West Virginia in the second quarter after throwing just 11 passes. Bearcat head coach Butch Jones confirmed Sunday that an MRI had revealed a broken right ankle, one that will keep the senior out of Cincy's final three regular season games.
"Any time you lose your starting quarterback, it is what it is," Jones said. "That’s football and we’ve got to move on ... You always look at the positive. We get to see our future a little early."
That future (for the present) is dual-threat sophomore Munchie Legaux, who played the entire second half against the Mountaineers. Legaux shone on the ground, running for 77 yards and a touchdown, but completed less than 50 percent of his 21 passes for 144 yards with an interception.
Collaros will undergo surgery on the ankle Monday, Jones said, and could return in time for the Bearcats' bowl appearance--though it was too soon to confirm his status either way.
Thanks in large part to Collaros's 22 touchdowns (14 passing, 8 rushing) and 1,860 passing yards, the Bearcats still enjoy a one-game lead in the loss column over five two-loss Big East pursuers. But with a challenging road date with one of those teams -- Rutgers -- on tap for this week, Legaux will not have much room for error if Cincy is going to cling to its perch atop the league.