Spaulding Roundup - Cornerback Roulette

Sean Westgate is right, good things do happen when you wrap up the player you are trying to tackle. After this picture was taken, Case Keenum was granted another year of eligibility.

Aaron Hester will not play the first half of Saturday's game against Utah after being suspended by Coach Rick Neuheisel for his comments after the ASU game and reprimand by the Pac-12.  He went down during practice, "screaming in pain" but managed to leave the field on crutches and should be fine on Saturday, according to Neuheisel.

"Aaron will be fine," Neuheisel said. "Aaron tweaked an ankle, but we expect him to be ready to go."

Hester, a starting cornerback, was covering a receiver during team drills when the injury occurred. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes and the team had to switch ends of the field in order to continue the drill. He walked off the field under his own power and spent about an hour in the training room before leaving on crutches.

Randall Carroll is expected to start in Hester's place, and he is ready.

"I’m pretty much ready physically and mentally. Mentally is the part that’s going to be tougher, but I’m working with that every night."

Our secondary has had the injury bug this season.  Hopefully our secondary won't be tested that much this weekend, considering that Utah's quarterback is a former Division II starter.  Carroll should be ready to be picked on during the first half.

Dietrich Riley will definitely not be playing this weekend:

"He saw another doctor, probably will see another one - those are his options - but it doesn't look like it's a career-ending injury," Neuheisel said. "It looks like he'll be back, the question is when."

Neuheisel went on to say that the neck injury could "potentially" be season-ending.

We only want the best for Riley, and I hope he is able to see the best doctors.  

Sean Westgate is getting ready for Utah's John White, who was played at Los Angeles Harbor College:

"He can hit the smallest holes and he gets half a man," ... "It's never a full blow; you get kind of glancing blows on him, so you have to wrap."

Our run defense is ranked 86th out of 120 - a quality rusher will tear us apart if we do not focus on fundamentals, such as wrapping up the runner when making tackles.

Westgate does recognize his faults:

"It's just missed assignments and early on [in the season] playing with a bunch of young guys that want the big hit, so they come in with the shoulder rather than wrapping up," Westgate said. "I've been guilty of that myself, and I'm not a young guy."

We should all pay close attention on Saturday to make sure Westgate wraps up the runner, which is difficult considering he has a cast on one hand!  (Also, as a side note, please make sure to check out this Q&A with Block U, the Utah SBN blog.)

Richard Brehaut practiced on Wednesday, but he looked visibly rusty.  He is staying late to catch up, but Gold would be surprised if he comes in in a non-emergency situation this season.

Jordan Zumwalt missed practice with a hip pointer, but he is expected to play Saturday.


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