The D Takes Another Hit
Unfortunately, the big news out of practice today was that JR DE Kurtis Taylor, who was a projected starter, will miss the 2006 season with a torn ACL.
"Kurtis tore his ACL. He's going to have reconstructive surgery on his knee next week and he'll be lost for the season," head coach Dan McCarney told reporters after practice on Thursday.
McCarney said that
"We're really sorry to hear it. He had a phenomenal spring and summer. There was no question that he was going to be a starter on this defense. We just got the final word today that it will have to be reconstructive," McCarney said.
Taylor, who has two years of eligibility remaining, will red-shirt 2006.
"He'll have a red-shirt year this year and then have two more years after that. My heart goes out to him. He's worked extremely hard and we've already lost eight starters when you take James Smith and Kurtis Taylor out. We've got to step up. That's why you have 85 scholarships and over 100 guys on your football team," McCarney said.
Where Do They Go From Here?
"Rashawn Parker has been outstanding; in fact he was actually really pushing Kurtis for that number one spot. John Machado really has to step it up for us. We'll continue to look at a lot of guys out there. Nick Frere and Machado, Moorehead who is one of our starters. Travis Ferguson has been out with a minor injury but he'll be back," McCarney said.
Frere came in as a linebacker three years ago but has made the move to DE. Since made the move, Frere has never cracked the two-deep.
"He's not in the two-deep as we speak right now. He's got a ways to go. His brother, frankly has had more of an impact on this defense than Nick has. Nate has had a real impact and he's pushing for a number one spot right now but Nick is on the verge of breaking into the two-deep," McCarney said.
Other News from Camp
The team completed their last day of two-a-days today with an indoor morning practiced followed by going outside in the afternoon.
"We had a padded practice this morning with a run emphasis, this afternoon we threw the ball a lot. Bret Meyer has shown most of camp and especially in recent days why he is one of the better quarterbacks in the Big 12 conference," McCarney said.
Though the defense has been plagued with injuries, the offense has been great according to McCarney.
"It's hard to get a complete evaluation of our defense because their have been guys in and out of the lineup with injuries. Offensively we have been really healthy so hopefully that will continue," McCarney said.
Now go knock on wood.
On the special teams side of things, again McCarney raved about his new long snapper and punter.
"If he (Matt Purvis) and Mike Brandtner will just do it under the lights, we've got a really special snapper for two years and a really special punter for four years. They have really had outstanding camps," McCarney said.
The team will practice on Friday morning.