Losing a defensive lineman for an extended period was the one thing Akron could not afford.
When Jared Cecchetti went down with a broken fifth metatarsal in his foot, it happened.
The defensive lineman is expected out for five to six weeks. "That's a stinger right there," coach J.D. Brookhart said.
It's a similar injury to what Jabari Arthur suffered this spring. Former offensive lineman Mike Donaldson also broke that bone, but he returned in four weeks. Coaches hope to have their senior leader of the line back by then, too.
In Cecchetti's absence, Wallace Pendleton will play nose guard and Eric Lively will move back to tackle. Almondo Sewell's status as starting end is not affected.
Notes from practice:
Luis Proenza and
Ted Curtis dropped by to talk football with Brookhart. I didn't hear any stadium-related news. One thing Zips fans should consider, however, is the very real possibility that the stadium is not complete for 2009. With construction schedules sometimes being wishy-washy, it might not be ready for the opener against Kentucky.
I spoke with
Dennis Kennedy today, who might be the nicest kid on the team. Unfortunately for journalists like me, he's also the most politically correct -- sidestepping pertinent questions about the offensive line and quarterbacks. Then again, maybe he was being honest by saying he has complete faith in the quarterbacks and that the line has improved blitz pickups.
Some people might be concerned that the running backs won't be satisfied because of a lack of carries. I get the sense that Kennedy will pass out Gatorade if it helps the team. In fact, he said he was happy to fill in at kick returner when a couple of the usual guys were hurt. As far as his own health is concerned, Kennedy insists he is "full steam ahead." The coaches whole-heartedly agree.
As for your daily quarterback update, Brookhart did not say which one is ahead. I really pressed him on it this time. He insisted it's a tie. "Look at the stats," he said. Well, is it possible you don't have a true No. 1 passer in 11 days for the Army game? "No," he said. "They're both way ahead of where I thought they would be." The team will scrimmage again on Thursday, and
Carlton Jackson will get more time with the first team to make up for
Chris Jacquemain's added time with the starters the Thursday before.
At this point, transfers
Mike Thomas and
Jeremy Bruce are not on scholarship and must sit out this season.
Chuck Thompson, the juco transfer from California, is a walk-on but is eligible to play.
Take a guess at how many players to whom Akron has offered a scholarship. Forty? Sixty, maybe? Try 125. Isn't it incredible that a team has to extend that many offers of free tuition to fill about 20 spots? Who says there's not enough opportunity in America?