|« Colgate's Double Threat||After Fourteen Years, Doris Reflects on Fairfield Athletics »|
Penn's Olson Not Alone on Crutches
With first Ivy loss, Quakers suffer multiple key injuries; ‘prognosis not good’.
It’s been a very busy week for Penn’s medical staff.
The Quakers’ misfortunes last Saturday against Brown extended far beyond dropping their first Ivy League game of the season. As the fourth quarter came to a close, several important members of the team watched from the sidelines on crutches. Others weren’t even on the field.
Most notably, junior quarterback Kyle Olson sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for the rest of the season.
But lost in the shuffle were injuries to key contributors on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver David Wurst hurt his ankle and was carted off the field towards the end of the game, and before Olson went down, senior defensive end Joe Rost suffered a knee injury. The team is awaiting MRI results for both players, but the prognosis is not good.
According to Penn coach Al Bagnoli, Penn will turn to receiver Matt Reinert to help fill the void left by Wurst. Reinert recently returned from a hamstring injury that forced him out of two games, but he does have five catches on the season.
Owen Thomas and Glen Cressman will pick up the slack on the defensive line. Both players have seen action in all seven of Penn’s games this season.
Last Wednesday in practice, center Luis Ruffolo injured his knee, keeping him out of Saturday’s game against Brown. He will also be out this Friday against Princeton, and Joe D’Orazio will again get the start.
As for the quarterback situation, Bagnoli plans to have Robert Irvin - who has been plagued by a sore shoulder - and sophomore Keiffer Garton share the duties.
“We’re going to play a couple of different quarterbacks,” Bagnoli said. “We’re trying to get some younger guys some experience. I thought Keiffer did some nice things, and we like the leadership and experience that Robert has.”
Either of the freshmen quarterbacks on the roster could step into the third-string role, and Bagnoli also mentioned that Brendan McNally, who had been converted from quarterback to cornerback, could return under center.
Rivalry week. Despite the sobering news of all of the injuries, the Quakers are gearing up for their annual game against Princeton on Friday, which will be surrounded by more fanfare than usual.
The game is being televised nationally under the lights of Princeton Stadium by ESPNU, as Penn and Princeton celebrate the 100th meeting in their storied rivalry.
The Friday start time also means a shorter week for both Penn and Princeton, so the Quakers have cut back on their practices.
Bagnoli’s tentative plan is for the team to head up I-95 to in the middle of the afternoon on Friday and have dinner in the Princeton area before going to the stadium.
“It will be an emotional day on Friday, just because of the implications of playing Princeton,” Bagnoli said. “Now you throw in 100th anniversary, Friday, on national TV - all of these things we have to build upon, and hopefully our kids will be flying come Friday night.”
Olson not alone on crutches
By Andrew Todres, The Daily Pennsylvanian
Media Credit: Alvin Loke/DP Senior Photographer