Inside News: Baylor Quarterback suffers Broken Neck

Starting quarterback for the Baylor Bears Seth Russell was injured in last week’s game against the Iowa State Cyclones. The Bears came out on top of a 45-27 final, but the win came at a high price: Head coach at Baylor Art Briles, told reporters Russell “would probably be out a while.”

Russell was having a great season, he had thrown 1,907 yards and passed 29 touchdowns, only conceding six interceptions for the Bears so far. He was on the fast track to making the pro’s by playing solidly for one of the best teams in the nation. In last Saturday’s game he had completed 16 of 37 passes to gain 197 yards and he had also thrown two touchdown passes before he was injured and forced to leave his team on the field without him.

Granted a football team is made up of several individuals, this Baylor side was leaning heavily on Russell for their wins. He was averaging more than 300 yards per game in the air, that average is only bested in Big 12 play by TCU’s Trevone Boykin and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Plus he was solely responsible for 35 of Baylor’s 59 total touchdowns.

All this before tragedy struck.

The clock had a touch over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Russell was clobbered on a four yard dash. Initially he didn’t look as bad as we later discovered he was. During the game he was benched and freshman Jarrett Stidham took his place.

Luckily for the Bears, Stidham is no slacker and knows how to play well. So far this year in garbage time he has completed 24 of 28 passes to gain 331 yards and scored six touchdowns, and he has done all that without throwing a single interception. Time will tell if Stidham has what it takes to carry the Bears all the way.

It is ONE thing to head into a game that has already been won and throw some magic around – it’s quite ANOTHER to face a kickoff of a stoic rival and play the whole game through.

In garbage time you have countless advantages: the opposition has crumbled, they have already lost in their minds, the winning side has all the support and confidence they need, and there is also a cornucopia of other elements come into play in those scenarios.

At the end of the day we must remember that Stidham is a freshman, and freshmen make mistakes. Sure, everyone makes mistakes but experience has a way of hammering out mistakes. It would be unrealistic to think that a freshman would play at the same level as a much more experienced junior. Stidham will hopefully play well and the Bears won’t lose too much ground over this injury.

The athletic department at Baylor has said that there is no timetable for Russell’s return. He will see a specialist this week after x-rays and a CT scan revealed a fracture to one of the bones in his neck.

This injury makes the Bears the most ‘at risk’ playoff team at the moment. They are having an excellent season. They are off to an incredible 7-0 start and 4-0 in the Big 12 conference. But they still have to play the Kansas Wildcats, the Oklahoma Sooners, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the very powerful Horned Frogs from TCU and the Texas Longhorns, and they may have to face those challenges without their battle-hardened leader. Instead they will see a wide eyed and eager freshman take the reins…

October 26, 2015 by : Posted in College Football No Comments

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