And, unfortunately, “gruesome” doesn’t even begin to describe what happened to the right leg of the South Carolina running back.
Late in the second quarter of the Gamecocks’ game with Tennessee, Marcus Lattimore was tackled — cleanly, I might add — at the end of a running play, with his leg from the knee down twisted in a direction it was never meant to go. The video replay showed Lattimore’s kneecap on the side of his leg as the back almost instantaneously began writhing on the ground in excruciating pain.
Lattimore was tended to immediately by USC medical personnel, who place his injured leg in an air cast. As he was being loaded on the cart to be taken in the locker room — and likely a local medical facility — Lattimore was surrounded by the entire Gamecocks team and, in a class move, by the Volunteers as well.
As Lattimore was being carted into the locker room, he had a towel draped over his head and was visibly sobbing according to those in attendance.
It’s the second straight year the talented and well-liked Lattimore has suffered a season-ending injury — this one is unofficial for now as the team has yet to confirm the exact nature of the injury let alone his status for the remainder of the year. In 2011, Lattimore missed the final six games of the season after tearing the ACL in his left leg against Mississippi State.
Not only is this, in all likelihood, a season-ending injury, it could be a career-ending one, at least collegiately, as Lattimore will be eligible for the April 2013 NFL draft.
Lattimore leads the Gamecocks this year in rushing with 597 yards and 10 touchdowns after leading the team in those categories his first two years in Columbia.
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.
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