Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stop getting hurt, everybody

The damage continues to mount from preseason injuries, with today's biggest news coming out of Lubbock: Texas Tech running back Baron Batch "sustained an arm injury" in practice Wednesday night and will miss three to six weeks, meaning that the Raiders will have an entirely new backfield for close to a quarter of the season.

While this probably seems like the equivalent of Oklahoma's punter getting hurt, Batch actually ran for almost 800 yards last year at 6.7 per carry, moving ahead of senior Shannon Woods as the season went on. And since Texas Tech is Texas Tech, it's not like there are experienced backups.

On the plus side, the early-season schedule isn't exactly punishing: Texas Tech opens at home against North Dakota and then hosts Rice before visiting Texas on Sept. 19, which would seem to be the ideal time for Mike Leach to call in the reinforcements.

About 1,500 miles to the east, NC State got some bad news of its own when star linebacker Nate Irving was declared out for the season because of lingering effects from his June 28 car crash.

Irving garnered All-ACC honors last year with 84 tackles, but the one positive for the Wolfpack is that they were almost certainly preparing for Irving's unavailability based on the extent of his injuries -- as you may recall, he fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the highway into two trees in rural North Carolina, resulting in a broken leg and a punctured lung. It's not entirely clear if his career is over, but he'd receive a medical redshirt and have two years left to play if he's ever able to come back.

Oh, and considering that three of the best players in the conference are already out for the season -- Irving, Virginia Tech's Darren Evans (knee) and Boston College's Mark Herzlich (cancer) -- everyone else in the ACC might want to sit down their starters (don't be stupid, Paul Johnson).

No comments: