Injuries aren’t exactly the thing a sports fan should hope for.
Sure, I hoped Barry Bonds would get a career ending injury before he broke either Mark McGwire’s 70 home runs in a season or Hank Aaron’s career home run record. And when a guy on the court, ice, field, or turf is just kicking your team around you silently hope that something will happen to him and give your team a chance.
Last season the SMU Mustangs were seemingly headed for another year without a bowl game. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had underachieved in head coach June Jones’ offense and was having issues throwing the ball to the right team. Then it happened, in Houston, Mitchell went down with an injury. That brought in, freshman at the time, Kyle Padron. He didn’t look like anything special in the rest of the game against Houston, but what he showed after that game kept Mitchell on the bench and eventually transferring to another school.
This season the Mustangs could benefit from another quarterback injury in Houston. This time it isn’t to an SMU player, it’s to two Cougars.
One week after suffering a mild concussion trying to make a tackle after an interception, once Heisman candidate Case Keenum did it again. He threw an interception, went to make a tackle and this time tore his ACL and is done for the season.
But that’s ok, Houston has a backup by the name of Cotton Turner, he’s no Keenum but still capable of running a potent Cougar offense. Only one problem, he broke his collar bone, also out for the season. The Cougars went into the game against UCLA with a No. 23 ranking and a Heisman candidate. They left with a loss, dropping out of the top 25, and a third-string, freshman quarterback leading them.
There was so much hype, so much hope and so much reverence surrounding Houston when the season started. They were going to win Conference USA West, again, they were going to send Keenum to New York for a chance at a trophy and they were going to compete with TCU and Boise State as BCS busters.
Now some of that has moved into SMU’s camp. Will Padron be talked about for the Heisman? Probably not. Will the Mustangs sniff a BCS game? No. But SMU has a solid shot to dominate the west in C-USA and possibly host the conference championship game in December.
Now the Mustangs do still have to win the games they are supposed to; Rice, Tulsa, Tulane, and they have to get past UTEP and still beat Houston. And the Cougars have games against Tulane, Mississippi State and Rice to get third to first string freshman quarterback Terrence Broadway integrated in the offense and comfortable playing the position at the college level.
There is little doubt that Broadway is a capable, talented quarterback, and that he has the ability to be a great quarterback. But for now the Mustangs hope he has some growing pains over the next couple of games culminating on Oct. 23 at Ford Stadium.
Everyone has heard that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as one door closes another one opens and one man’s misfortune is another’s fortune. All the Mustangs are hoping for is a win against Houston and a chance at the conference championship. And with Keenum and Turner out of the picture it’s looking like they could be well on their way.