Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
December 27, 2011Of all the Nittany Lions who may have needed some time away from the practice field to recuperate from injuries, sophomore running back Silas Redd may have been the priority.
Racking up 1,188 rushing yards through the regular season, Redd was named second-team All-Big Ten by the media and coaches, as well as the 2011 Connecticut Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The only drawback? Sporadic stingers for the final three games of the season, spurred on by a freak landing during the Nebraska game.
"The way I landed on it and then someone fell on me as I was landing," he said. "That was against Nebraska. Since then, it's just been nagging."
Though the time away from the field in the weeks between the regular season's conclusion and bowl preparations acted as a benefit, Redd said he isn't out of the woods yet.
As he said at the team's bowl media day the week leading up to Christmas, he still has not fully recovered from the injury.
"My legs feel great but my collarbone picks and chooses when it wants to hurt," he said. "Sometimes, I'll wake up and it will be hurting pretty good. Then, sometimes it will be fine. I think it's just one of those things where I just need to rest from everything."
With the No. 19-ranked Houston Cougars on his New Year's Day plate, that rest won't be an option for Redd's immediate future.
Acknowledging the Cougars' high-octane, No. 1-ranked passing, total and scoring offense, Redd revealed what has been evident since the match-up was first announced: Penn State's must literally play 'keep away' from the Houston offense to hope to earn the win.
"Yeah, it is literally keep away. It really is," he said. "But, that's a big part of our game plan to run the ball and chew some of that clock up.
"It's going to be an exciting game. With Stephfon Green and Curtis (Dukes), we're ready to run the rock and keep their high-powered offense off the field. I think that will help our defense a lot."
The question, of course, remains when help will be on the way for Redd, who became the first Penn State running back to rush for five-straight games with 100-yards or more since Curtis Enis in 1997.
With Green graduating and Brandon Beachum's career likely already completed, Redd figures to be in line for another workhorse-type load next season. He said he knows he'll need to be healthy, but also said that surgery won't be an option or necessary to get the injury corrected between now and the 2012 season.
"I think it's just a sprain, but it's one of those nagging injuries," he said.