Oct. 27, 2011
PITTSBURGH—Pitt head football coach Todd Graham announced that three players sustained season-ending injuries last night in the Panthers’ 35-20 win over Connecticut.
Junior running back Ray Graham suffered a right knee injury that will require surgery. He entered the Connecticut game as the nation’s second-leading rusher (134.1 yards/game). Graham finishes the year with 958 rushing yards on 164 carries (5.8 avg.) and nine touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Matt Rotheram sustained a fractured left ankle and will undergo surgery. One of Pitt’s most versatile linemen, Rotheram played in all eight games this season and started the last two contests at tackle and guard, respectively.
Additionally, junior receiver Cameron Saddler will be out for the rest of the season with a fractured sternum. Saddler played in all eight games, starting seven, and had 19 catches for 207 yards (10.9 avg.) and a TD. He was injured following a 40-yard catch-and-run that set up Pitt’s third touchdown for a 21-3 lead over UConn late in the first half.
“We are incredibly disappointed for these three young men,” Coach Graham said. “They have put so much work into our program and it’s heartbreaking to see their seasons end prematurely. Even from the sidelines, I know they are going to remain important leaders who will continue to make an impact as we strive to reach our goal of a Big East championship.
“I know each will attack their rehabilitation programs with incredible commitment and be back better than ever for next season. That’s the type of people and competitors they are and we’re proud that they are Panthers.”
Pitt has lost six prominent contributors to season-ending injuries this year. Previously injured players include sophomore safety Jason Hendricks (shoulder), senior offensive guard Chris Jacobson (knee) and redshirt freshman Salath Williams (shoulder). Jacobson will seek a medical hardship waiver and sixth year of eligibility.
The Panthers will return to action on November 5 when they host Cincinnati at Heinz Field. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU and kick off at 7 p.m.
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