Rutgers Defeats Army In Overtime, 23-20

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Paralyzed Eric LeGrand Undergoes Surgery

Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand underwent surgery late Saturday night, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement released by the university’s athletics department Sunday afternoon, Rutgers officials said, “Eric is resting in the intensive care unit at Hackensack University Medical Center and will remain there for the near future. Currently, he has no movement below the neck.”

Dr. Fred Mueller, director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, studies fatal and permanent-disability injuries of high school and college athletes.

Mueller, whose research is funded by and collected for the NCAA, said “90 percent” of catastrophic injuries “happen when a player’s head is down” while making a tackle.

“Kickoffs are dangerous,” Mueller said. “There have been fewer and fewer neck injuries the last five years. Most of the (catastrophic) injuries have been head injuries. There’s been a reduction of the head injuries because coaches are teaching the kids not to put their head down and tackle properly. But at the last minute you don’t know what the kid was thinking.”

Mueller, an expert in spinal cord injuries, said the next 48-to-72 hours will be key for the surgeons to determine “how badly damaged the vertebra is.”

“That’s important because some kids have fractured cervical vertebrae but they come through with no paralysis,” Mueller said. “But this one sounds like he already has no movement at all so I don’t know how that’s going to turn out. If he still has paralysis after the surgery, he’ll still have to go through rehab and find out what can be recovered. He’s in for a long recovery, no doubt.”


Rutgers' Defensive Tackle Eric LeGrand Paralyzed

It appears that Detroit Lions’ linebacker Zack Follett has escaped paralysis after a scary-looking injury Sunday against the New York Giants.

Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand is not that lucky.

LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury Saturday in the Scarlet Knights’ 23-20 overtime victory against Army and has no movement below his neck, the school announced today.

LeGrand was injured while making a tackle on a kickoff with 5:10 left in regulation against Army. LeGrand lay motionless for seven minutes while his neck was immobilized and he was placed on a backboard and then carted off to Hackensack University Medical center.

The injury was at the C3-C4 level of LeGrand’s vertebrae, and emergency surgery was performed to stabilize his spine. LeGrand is in intensive care at Hackensack and is expected to remain there for the near future, according to a statement released by the Rutgers athletic department.

“We want to say thank you to everyone for all of your prayers, kind words, and well wishes,” the LeGrand family said in the statement. “We appreciate every single thought. Eric is in good spirits and we are praying for a full recovery.”

Said Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano: “Eric, his family and the Rutgers Football family believe he will recover. We ask our fans and the entire Rutgers community to believe and pray for Eric as he begins the recovery process.”


Rutgers 23, Army 20 (OT): Scarlet Knights Win 2nd Straight

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – A one-yard touchdown run by Joe Martinek proved to be the difference in overtime as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights picked up the 23-20 win over the Army Black Knights in non-conference action at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

Martinek finished with just 30 yards on 10 attempts for the Scarlet Knights (4-2), a team which generated a mere 95 yards on the ground. Chas Dodd completed 18-of-30 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted once and sacked a total of eight times, leaving him with a net of minus-78 rushing yards on the afternoon.

The Black Knights (4-3) were paced by Trent Steelman who not only converted 8- of-14 passes for 115 yards, he also turned 27 rushing attempts into 102 yards and a score in the setback. Jared Hassin logged a game-high 118 yards and a TD on 16 attempts as the academy posted 289 yards on the ground overall.

Steelman was responsible for the first points of the game as he hit the end zone on a three-yard run, capping a three-play, 12-yard drive late in the first quarter.

Rutgers cut into the lead with a 19-yard field goal by San San Te to conclude a lengthy 13-play, 60-yard drive that ate up nearly seven minutes on the clock.

On the subsequent drive by Army, Hassin crossed the goal line from five yards out to give the Black Knights a substantial 14-3 advantage. With the first half running down, Army again found itself in scoring position and used the opportunity for kicker Alex Carlton to convert a 21-yard field goal, making the score 17-3 at the break.

Following a scoreless third quarter, Dodd hit Kordell Young and Mark Harrison with scoring strikes of three and 16 yards, respectively, the second of which knotted the score at 17-17 with 5:16 remaining in regulation.

Into the overtime session the teams marched and Army took the first advantage on a 26-yard field goal by Carlton, but then Martinek put the game away for the Scarlet Knights with the short run as the squad from New Jersey won for the second time in as many outings.

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