Derek Wake Lost For Season

Penn State sophomore Derek Wake (Beltsville, Md.) will miss the remainder of the 2001 season after suffering a serious knee injury in Saturday night's season opener with Miami.

Wake, who made his first start at outside linebacker, tore the medial collateral ligament and the medial capsule in his left knee, according to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State's Director of Athletic Medicine. The 6-3, 233-pound Wake was injured late in the first quarter when he leapt over would-be Miami blocker Willis McGahee and landed awkwardly after doing a complete somersault in the air. Wake will have surgery later this week and rehabilitation will take approximately 9-12 months, according to Sebastianelli.

Wake played as a true freshman last season and has a redshirt year available. During the 2000 season, he made 10 tackles and turned the Purdue game in the Nittany Lions' favor by forcing the Boilermakers' punter to run on consecutive possessions in the third quarter. Penn State scored touchdowns after each play en route to the 22-20 win over the eventual Rose Bowl participant. Wake also blocked a field goal against Illinois.

Wake was a standout for Coach Bill McGregor at DeMatha HS. In 1999, he was the Washington Post Defensive Player of the Year and was first team All-Metro, recording 17 sacks in his senior season.

Sebastianelli also said that Penn State starting quarterback Matt Senneca (Allentown, Pa.) suffered a contusion of the ulnar nerve near his right elbow against the No. 2 Hurricanes, but should be ready for the Lions' next game, Sept. 13 at Virginia. Senneca was injured late in the first quarter, returned for a portion of the second stanza and then sat out the second half when he re-aggravated the injury. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Zack Mills (Ijamsville, Md.), who was 12 of 24 for a freshman school record 240 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Coach Joe Paterno's squad is idle this week and returns to action on Thursday, Sept. 13, visiting Virginia (1-1) for a 7:30 p.m. contest, which will be televised by ESPN.

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