The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

October 20, 2009

Injury epidemic

Big East teams trying to keep QBs on the field

MORGANTOWN — Forget the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

What we need is a vaccine to stem the epidemic that is striking down college quarterbacks across the nation.

It hit home on Saturday when West Virginia’s Jarrett Brown took a pair of rapid-fire helmet-to-helmet hits on the fourth play of the game against Marshall, leaving him with a mild concussion that threatens to keep him out of this week’s game.

While Stewart maintained Brown was still day-to-day, he did not sound optimistic about his chances to play this Saturday against a grieving Connecticut team that had a real tragedy to deal with when cornerback Jasper Howard died from a stab wound on Saturday night.

“I don’t know Jarrett won’t play,” Stewart said, “but I don’t know that he will. It’s more my opinion that he won’t than he will.”

If he doesn’t play, Geno Smith will get his first collegiate start, Coley White will be the backup and Stewart will have a package of plays for Bradley Starks, the emergency quarterback who starts at wide receiver.

To play, Brown has to practice and when the team went out in helmets and vests on Sunday, he couldn’t even dress up. Stewart said that Brown would have to practice by Wednesday to play this week.

Brown is only one of many top line quarterbacks to be felled by injury this season. On Saturday, Heisman winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma reinjured his shoulder and may be out for the season. Earlier, the previous year’s Heisman winner Tim Tebow of No. 1 Florida suffered a concussion and had to miss a game.

The Big East has been hit hard by the quarterback injury epidemic.

South Florida, one of the favorites to win the Big East, had the conference’s all-time leader in total yardage, Matt Groethe taken down by knee injury.

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Bob Herzel
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