Monday’s roundup: Baylor quarterback done for season
Second-ranked Baylor’s pursuit of a playoff spot will go on without star junior quarterback Seth Russell, who needs season-ending neck surgery.
Russell saw a specialist Monday, two days after he fractured a bone during a win over Iowa State. The school said surgery was recommended to repair damage to his cervical vertebra, and that the typical recovery time is six months.
“Seth exemplifies the spirit and will of our football team, and through this our team will keep that spirit alive and well for him,” coach Art Briles said in a statement released by the school.
Russell got hurt on a run late in Saturday’s game, when the two-time defending Big 12 champion Bears improved to 7-0 with a 45-27 win.
Russell is the top-rated passer in the Bowl Subdivision, completing 119 of 200 passes for 2,104 yards with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for six scores in his first season starting for the NCAA’s top offense (686 total yards, 61 points a game).
Freshman Jarrett Stidham will take over as the starter. He has played in every game so far, and has some extra time to prepare for his first start since the Bears are off this week before playing Nov. 5 at Kansas State. Stidham has completed 24 of 28 passes for 331 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. Sophomore Chris Johnson has moved from receiver back to quarterback as Stidham’s backup.
“We certainly have tons of confidence in Jarrett. … Maturity-wise, he doesn’t seem like a freshman, act like a freshman or perform like a freshman,” Briles said earlier Monday on the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. “He’s a guy that’s instinctively and athletically ready to play.”
Russell, a devout Christian, posted a message on his Twitter and Instagram accounts Sunday that read, “His plan isn’t always clear ... but trusting in His plan for me. Thanks for all the prayers Baylor.”
There were no updates on his Twitter account Monday after Baylor announced the surgery.
Judy MacLeod of Conference USA has become the first female commissioner of a Football Bowl Subdivision league.
... Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads says offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, former Kansas coach, has left the program.
... Utah senior receiver Tim Patrick is out for the rest of the season and is seeking another year of eligibility, coach Kyle Whittingham said. Patrick made one appearance this season trying to return from a leg injury that ended his 2014 season but suffered a setback.
... Wisconsin lost starting center Dan Voltz for the season because of a knee injury suffered in the 24-13 victory over Illinois.
... Idaho says star wide receiver Dezmon Epps has been suspended indefinitely after being accused of hitting his girlfriend. Epps has 61 receptions for 757 yards in six games this season, far and away the most among Idaho receivers.
... James Madison quarterback Vad Lee’s left foot injury will sideline him “indefinitely,” coach Everett Withers said.