As Missouri looks to inch closer to securing a spot in the SEC championship game, the Tigers may catch a break against one of the stiffest tests left on the schedule.
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw suffered what was originally feared to be a very significant knee injury in the loss to Tennessee Saturday. Reports surfaced late Saturday night that, instead of a torn ACL as rumored, Shaw was diagnosed with a severely sprained knee.
Sunday afternoon, head coach Steve Spurrier confirmed that no surgery would be necessary for Shaw. The OBC also said that doesn’t necessarily mean his starter will suit up for this Saturday’s game against Missouri.
“Injury-wise, Connor Shaw is actually walking around a little bit,” Spurrier said according to GoGamecocks.com. “No surgery or anything. I’m not sure what his status will be later in the week.
“I would say yes, he would be able to come back.”
In that latter sentence, Spurrier was referring to this season, not necessarily this weekend.
If Shaw is indeed sidelined, Dylan Thompson would step in under center. The redshirt junior started two games in place of an injured Shaw last season after spending 2011 as Stephen Garcia‘s backup.
Thompson has seen action in six of seven games in 2013, completing 29 of his 51 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also thrown two interceptions.
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