The good news for redshirt junior quarterback T.C. Ostrander thus far this fall is that he has made progress in answering his criticism and rectifying the disappointing play he put forth during spring practices.
The bad news is that Ostrander has not been healthy for much of Stanford's preseason camp. He injured his hamstring on August 12 and did not return until the 20th. Ostrander missed both of the Cardinal's scrimmages during his absence, so his return to action earlier this week afforded him the chance to play in Wednesday's third and final full scrimmage of training camp.
Unfortunately, Ostrander did not finish Wednesday's scrimmage. On a 3rd & 2, the second team quarterback found nobody open and decided to take off in search of the first down on his own two feet. Ostrander immediately pulled up lame, reinjuring his hamstring. He did not return for the remainder of the scrimmage.
"That was unfortunate," says Walt Harris. "I don't know how bad he hurt it today."
"He wasn't supposed to [run]. That's real disappointing," the Cardinal coach comments. "In hindsight, I shouldn't have played him because that might have put him back... Ultimately I am responsible for him, so it wasn't a good choice."
Stanford finished the rest of the scrimmage with redshirt freshman Tavita Pritchard at the helm of the second team offense. Pritchard has never played a down of college football and lags by a mile the experience of Ostrander or fifth-year senior Trent Edwards. If Ostrander's hamstring does not heal adequately in time for the Cardinal's September 2 game at Oregon, Stanford will be one play away from putting Pritchard on the field.
"It's huge," Harris says of the injury impact. "He's a good football player. We don't want to go into the opener without him."
"That's really hard to see," says Edwards of his fellow quarterback and fallen teammate. "T.C. is a competitor, and that's pretty much what he showed today. He was going to play hard, whether the coaches let him go or not."
"He's one of those guys who is going to compete on every down," Edwards adds. "Unfortunately, his hamstring is still kind of bothering him. But I love watching him play out there."
Ostrander was 2-of-5 for 21 yards in his brief action during the 90-minute Stanford scrimmage. Pritchard in relief threw 6-of-12 for 45 yards. Edwards led the first team offense, which ran the ball well on Wednesday, with 8-of-15 passing for 150 yards and one touchdown.
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