Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:51 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 7:52 pm

Vols lose Justin Hunter for the season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Tennessee's loss to rival Florida on Saturday is painful enough for the Vols on its own, but it hurt even more with some bad news on Sunday afternoon.

After suffering a knee injury during Saturday's game, Tennessee confirmed on Sunday that wide receiver Justin Hunter will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee.

Hunter is expected to recover in time to return to the team for spring practice next year.

Which isn't much solace to the Tennessee offense now. Hunter had 16 catches for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Vols two victories so far this season. He had 1 reception for 12 yards before tearing his ACL on Saturday.

If there's any silver lining to this cloud for Tennessee, it's that Tyler Bray still has a nice target in Da'Rick Rogers, who has 20 catches for 262 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Kansas loses DT Williams for the season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Kansas is off to a 2-0 start on the season, but that doesn't mean all the news in Lawrence is good for the Jayhawks and head coach Turner Gill. Gill announced on Sunday night that defensive tackle John Williams will miss the rest of the season after suffering a torn ACL in Kansas' 45-42 win over Northern Illinois.

"That's not what you want to hear," Gill told the Kansas City Star. "He definitely was playing well. It's unfortunate that he got hurt. We'll just have to get the next guy that has an opportunity to come in and make plays for us." 

Making the news a bit harder to swallow, Kansas isn't exactly deep on its defensive line. Williams' current backup on the depth chart is sophomore Randall Dent. Dent had been an offensive lineman for the Jayhawks until fall camp when Pat Dorsey was injured and he was moved to the defense. So that means that the Jayhawks may have to rely heavily on a player in the middle of their defense who has very little experience at the position against a Georgia Tech team that runs the option.

With a lack of depth and inexperience in the middle of the defensive line, it could be a very long day for the Kansas defense against the Yellow Jackets.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: September 7, 2011 11:34 am

Texas Tech lineman suffers deflated lung

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The debut of Texas Tech defensive lineman Leon Mackey was one of the more anticipated moments for the team and its fans this weekend, as the juco transfer was expected to have quite an impact on Tech's pass rush this season. Now, after starting the game and recording 4 tackles in Tech's 50-10 win over Texas State, Mackey and the Red Raiders have a lot more important things to worry about.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville announced on Tuesday that Mackey would be out for a while after suffering a deflated lung when taking a hit to the chest during the game.

“It’s up in the air how long he’ll be out,” Tuberville told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “Probably several weeks, maybe more.”

Mackey spent 24 hours in the hospital after the game.

Obviously, this is an injury that's a bit more serious than your typical football injury. A pulled hamstring or even a broken leg can keep you out for a few weeks or a season, but neither injury is going to kill you. A deflated lung on the other hand can have far worse consequences than keeping you off the football field.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:21 am

Mizzou down two starters on defense

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Missouri offense wasn't exactly a well-oiled machine in the Tigers 17-6 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday, but at least the team's defense seemed to be in mid-season form. Both sides of the ball will face a tougher test in Arizona State this week, and the Tigers offense may need to improve quickly because the defense is going to be without two starters on Friday night.

Defensive end Jacquies Smith and linebacker Will Ebner will both miss the Arizona State game after suffering injuries on Saturday.

Smith disclocated his elbow during the win, and Ebner suffered a high ankle sprain. While there is no set timetable on the return of Ebner, as high ankle sprains can take over a month to recover from, head coach Gary Pinkel is at least optimistic that Smith could return after missing only one game.

"Who knows when Jacquies will be back," Pinkel said. "He won't play this week. Hopefully we'll get him back (soon)."

Not all the news is bad for Missouri's defense, however. Starting cornerback Kip Edwards didn't play on Saturday because of a hamstring injury, and he's likely to be dressed and playing Friday night.
Posted on: September 2, 2011 3:56 pm

Dan Persa 'questionable' for Northwestern opener

Posted by Adam Jacobi

There's been a great deal of, shall we say, conflicting information from Northwestern about vaunted quarterback Dan Persa as the Wildcats prepare for a Week 1 battle at Boston College. Persa is coming off a torn Achilles tendon 10 months ago in a 21-17 victory against Iowa, and while that's a major injury to suffer, expectations have been such that Persa would not only be back for 2011, but also be a Heisman candidate for the 'Cats.

Since then, we've been told that Persa's recovery has been ahead of schedule, that Kain Colter (the first-string quarterback during spring, while Persa was still out) had pulled even with Persa, that Persa said his repaired Achilles tendon was almost a 10 on a scale of 10, that Pat Fitzgerald expected Persa to start ... and now that Persa is listed as "questionable" for the game

As mentioned before, it's entirely possible that listing Colter as the "1b" starter at quarterback has less to do with Persa's recovery and more with Colter's improvement as a quarterback, especially since he's been spending enough time with the starting unit to develop a meaningful rapport and timing. If that's the case, Fitzgerald shouldn't have to worry too much about Persa's lingering Achilles issue, because Colter would be a legitimate quarterback to send out against Boston College and Persa wouldn't have to be forced into situations for which he's not fully prepared yet. That's not to say Persa or Fitzgerald represented the condition of Persa's Achilles, it's just that getting that rehab done is hardly the end of getting Persa back on the field and 100%. He's got a lot of conditioning and practice that he missed, so there's a readjustment process that varies for everybody, regardless of their character or commitment to the program.

That all said, we fully expect to see Persa on the field for some amount of time on Saturday. If the training staff really didn't think Persa could go, he'd be out; a long-term rehab project like this probably isn't on a day-to-day basis. Some sort of time-split scenario seems likely, and Fitzgerald has been comfortable with situations like that in the past -- especially with one quarterback dinged up.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 5:13 pm

Missouri loses its left tackle for the season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We're only a few weeks away from the season finally -- mercifully -- getting started, and Missouri just found out that its offense will have a big hole to fill. It was announced on Monday that left tackle Elvis Fisher is going to miss the entire season.

Fisher tore his patellar tendon in his left knee in practice on Monday and will have surgery on it Tuesday.

This is a big loss for a Missouri offense that will be breaking in a new quarterback in James Franklin this season. Fisher started all 13 games for the Tigers at left tackle in 2010 and was an honorable mention on the All-Big 12 team last season and in 2009. Fisher was also named to the first-team Freshman All-American team in 2008.

He missed spring practice after having offseason shoulder surgery, but he'd recovered in time to be ready to go in camp this month before suffering the knee injury.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 6:20 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2011 6:21 pm

Dont'a Hightower has a broken hand

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I work in a profession that doesn't really require a lot of physical activity. Still, if I were to break my hand somehow, it would severly inhibit my ability to type for a while. I'd have to go to the one-handed approach that I haven't really utilized since I was in grade school and learning how to type.

Then there is Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

Hightower plays football, which requires a lot more physical activity than blogging, and he does it on one of the best defenses in the country. Yet, when he breaks his hand it's no big deal.

Yes, that's right. Hightower broke his hand, had to have surgery on it, but he'll be back at practice tomorrow. He'll probably be more dangerous than ever, too, as he'll now have a weapon on his hand in the form of a cast. And as NFL Hall of Famer Deacon Jones can attest to, having a cast on your hand can definitely be used to a defender's advantage.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:04 pm

Oklahoma loses Travis Lewis for 8 weeks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Life in the college football world is hard enough when you've already got the #1 appearing next to your school, but life just got a bit tougher for Oklahoma. According to senior associate athletic director Kenny Mossman, linebacker Travis Lewis suffered a broken bone in his foot during practice on Monday and is going to be out for eight weeks.

This is a major loss for the Oklahoma defense, as the All-American has led the Sooners in tackles the last three seasons. Lewis has also had 6 sacks and 8 interceptions to go along with the 362 tackles he's made in his first three seasons with the Sooners. In other words, he's not the type of player you can just replace.

"We're disappointed for Travis," said Bob Stoops. "He has worked very hard and I know he'll want to get back as quickly as possible.

"We'll adapt in the meantime. We've recruited very well and have some excellent athletes in those positions. I'm confident that those players will perform well." 

If there's any good news for Lewis it's that the foot will not require surgery.
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