3 Total Updates since October 14, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
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.”
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
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.”
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
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.
over 2 years ago Update 1 comment
Games between Rutgers and UConn are usually close, and last Friday's contest proved to be no exception. The Huskies were road favorites, riding high after a quarterback change breathed new life into their offense. Rutgers had struggled all year to move the ball and score points, but the Scarlet Knights were able to get their own spark after true freshman passer Chas Dodd was pressed into the starting lineup in relief of Tom Savage. The final score was only 27-24, but Rutgers thoroughly dominated underlying game statistics like first downs, time of possession, and total yardage. Their offensive line is still in shambles, but for the first time all season there is actual, genuine hope of fielding a capable offense thanks to Dodd.
That change comes not a moment too soon. On tap this week is Army, in another matchup between the New York City metropolitan area's two bowl subdivision college football teams before Rutgers resumes conference play for the rest of the season. The two geographic neighbors are set to welcome the first ever FBS game into the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (Navy and Notre Dame are on tap for next week.) This one officially counts as a home game for Rutgers, moving to the new stadium and sacrificing a bit of home field advantage for cool $1.2 million dollar profit over a normal home game. Army will return the favor next year for a rematch at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx.
After some lean years in recent decades, Army is resurgent, with second-year coach Rich Ellerson seemingly copying rival Navy's model of adopting the triple option offense to overcome the inherent logistical disadvantages of competing as a service academy. At 4-2, the Black Knights are off to their best start in years, with a winning season and a bowl game looming as a distinct possibility. The team ranks ninth in the country in rushing offense, and first overall in turnover margin. The most worrying statistic of all for Rutgers is 41-23, the score by which Army dispatched Tulane in New Orleans last week. That is the very same team that had jeopardized RU's season onto the brink of despair in a homecoming upset.
You could always count on the Black Knights giving 100% effort on every play, but even last season the talent disparity was immediately evident, especially on defense. This should be won or lost depending on whether the Rutgers offense is for real or not, but Army's gains on that side of the ball are the central reason why their program is on an upswing. Rutgers has a lot of speed on defense, and a fair amount of experience with defending the triple option from past games Army and Navy. It still is a very difficult offense to prepare for however, in part because of the scheme's limited use across college football. Opposing defenses have to throw out an entire year's worth of preparation, while staying cognizant of the Army line's frequent use of chop blocks.
It only takes one wrong guess, one mistaken over pursuit to lead to a big gain. The option is predicated on those mistakes piling up during game; wearing down opposing defenses with lengthy touchdown drives down the field. In order to beat the option, defenses need to maintain containment, and force stops for minimal yardage on first and second down. Then, even if a pitch works for a big gain on third down, the offense still will not have converted, and be forced to punt. If time is of the essence and option teams have to pass, that is even better, although defenses must always be on their guard for the occasional bomb. Rutgers used a special 4-2-5 base defense for last year's game to good effect, exchanging a linebacker for an extra safety help in countering Army's modified Flexbone attack.
By transitivity, Army should have the edge, but Rutgers is actually favored in this one by nearly a touchdown for a couple of reasons. The overall series record is tied up at 18-18, but the Scarlet Knights have owned this series in recent years. Rutgers has beaten Army six straight times, including ten of the last twelve. The games have not been particularly competitive either, even when Rutgers was in its early stages of rebuilding under Greg Schiano.
More importantly, Dodd's steady play has to continue. If he can pick apart Army's weak secondary and build an early lead, then the Black Knights will become one-dimensional, and abandon their comfort zone. While all of the uncertainty surrounding defending the option could make the score too close for comfort, higher expectations make this much more of a must-win for Rutgers than it is for Army. If Dodd and the offense can muster a repeat performance, then that is just what will happen.
Rutgers plays Army this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com.