The injury bug has hit Fresno State this week, but they are not serious head coach Pat Hill points out.
Zak Hill is the only season-ending injury the Bulldogs have had this season until Jermaine Thomas injured his knee last week in the final defensive play versus Louisiana Tech last week. The injury required surgery and Thomas is not playing another down in 2010.
“When he went down, I said a little prayer for him,” said junior Isaiah Green, who will start in place of Thomas on Saturday against Nevada.
But Green says Thomas has been in good spirits and has been helping him this week prepare for the No. 21 ranked Wolf Pack.
Green has played nickel back this season after starting a few games last season. “It’s been good playing nickel. I’m not the biggest guy, but I like playing in the box.”
Against Nevada’s fourth ranked offense, he might have to play on an island against much bigger receivers that are keen blockers as well as capable downfield targets.
“You have to be confidence to play cornerback,” Green responded about his confidence level against the potent Wolf Pack offense.
The issue in the secondary is nothing compared to the offensive line.
All-American candidate Andrew Jackson has not played since September 18 at Utah State. He began practicing last week, and he went through some contact drills this week. Hill says Jackson is a game time decision.
Leslie Cooper has started in Jackson’s place; however, he injured his ankle last week. He is also a game time decision. Matt Hunt spelled him last week, but he tweaked his hamstring trying to catch Phillip Livas on a punter return in Ruston. His status is also uncertain for tomorrow.
Therefore, redshirt freshman Austin Wentworth will get his first start this season. He’s listed at the backup right tackle, and he replaced Kenny Wiggins versus La. Tech when Wiggins went out with a shoulder injury. Wiggins will play this week but Wentworth played well in his place.
Starting center Joe Bernardi also reinjured an ankle that kept him out of the October 23 game at San Jose State. He expects to play, but Hill said it’s a game time decision.
Sophomore Richard Helepiko, who started against the Spartans, played last week when Bernardi went out. He will start Saturday if Bernardi is unable.
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