By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – In a game at Pitt where Rutgers left bruised and battered, no position took it worse than the offensive line. And particularly at right guard.
Taj Alexander (undisclosed) started the game before getting hurt. Then Andre Civil – who was already recovering from a lower leg injury – was inserted before he got hurt.
“Right now he’s on crutches in a boot,” head coach Kyle Flood said of Civil. “I’m not optimistic, I’m pessimistic about him for Thursday night [against Louisville]. We’re hoping to get him in a situation where we could use him in an emergency if he was healthy enough to do that, I don’t know that he will be.”
Fortunately for the Scarlet Knights – who will gain the school’s first BCS Bowl berth with a win – Alexander will likely play. Flood said he “moved around ok,” but wasn’t 100% at practice Sunday night.
“He did not finish the game, so I was pleased he could at least come out and move around a little and do some stuff,” Flood said. “I wouldn’t say that we were 100% full speed as a team tonight, but I think he did enough tonight that I feel confident that he’ll start the game for us.”
When both Civil and Alexander went down, Devon Watkis filled in. While Flood wouldn’t divulge if Watkis will be the first off the bench on Thursday night, he was pleased with the fifth year senior’s play at Pitt.
“He plays with great effort,” Flood said. “We’re fortunate to have a fifth year senior that has some experience to go in there and the moment’s not going to be too big for him and he’s given us everything he has.”
Note: Every other player that left the game with an injury (Khaseem Greene, Lorenzo Waters, Gary Nova and Jawan Jamison), practiced today. Flood said he’s “pessimistic” about kicker Kyle Federico and expects Nick Borgese to handle the place kicking duties. He’ll revaluate the kicking situation for the bowl game.