Something must be in the water in Boulder and Gainsville...either that or these non-contact drills that keep getting these finely tuned athletes to tear their ACL's is the most rigorous physical non-contact exercises in the history of college football. Fans are hearing the same coach speak, "we are doing nothing different than prior year's, if anything, we have lightened the physical strain on athletes." Well, I am not a doctor and I am not a college football coach so I can't explain it but I am completely baffled by the number of Colorado Buffalo and Florida Gator athletes that have torn that dirty little ACL.
The Buffs and Gators almost have enough players with a torn ACL to field an offensive or defensive team. The Buffs have four players on the "All ACL Team," most recent would be starting freshman guard Max Tuioti-Mariner, which is far and away the most important CU player currently sidelined by an ACL tear. Tuioti-Mariner, who missed his entire senior high school season due to a knee injury, had his best graded performance of the year against West Virginia and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes thought Tuioti-Mariner was progressing extremely well. The other injured "ACLers" include guard Mike Iltis, linebacker Jon Major and defensive end Drew Hudgins who were injured in August practices. Iltis was expected to compete for one of starting guard spots this year before the injury. The Florida Gators have five players who have fallen under the ACL injury category.
So where does Tuioti-Mariner's injury leave the Buffs? Well, the Buffs still have capable starting guards in red shirt freshman Blake Behrens and junior Devin Head but the rotation gets smaller and not a lot of experience behind them. Now frehsmen guards Matt Bahr and Shawn Daniels will see much more playing time and reps in practice. The injury couldn't have come at worse time for the Buffs as they will face a physical, speed oriented defense this weekend in Florida State. It is also bad timing after the Buffs finally got the running game going last week against West Virginia. If the Buffs cannot run the ball against Florida State, it could be a long day for the Buffaloes this Saturday.