Greg McElroy, Pete Massaro

Penn State may lose defensive starter to season-ending injury

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Penn State was already on the receiving end of some negative injury news on the offensive side of the ball earlier Friday.  Now, it’s the defense’s turn to take an apparent hit.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that defensive end Pete Massaro suffered what two sources described as a significant knee injury during a late-Friday workout.  The injury could be serious enough that it puts the redshirt junior’s availability for the 2011 season in jeopardy.

Subsequent to that, Massaro’s father confirmed to PSU’s student newspaper that his son had suffered an injury to his left knee.  Peter Massaro told the Daily Collegian that, while his son is able to walk around without crutches, further testing on Saturday will determine the extent of the injury.

“He just told us that he sort of got his foot caught in the turf and had some pain,” Massaro said. “He said he’s walking on it and not in as much pain as when he hurt his last knee. But they are being cautious with it until they do the MRI and we’re hoping for the best.”

Massaro missed the entire 2009 season due to a torn ACL in his right knee.

Last season, Massaro started 10 of the 13 games in which he played, leading the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and finishing second with 3.5 sacks.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah